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Full text of "Hearings Regarding Communist Activities in the Territory of Hawaii. [microform] : hearings before the United States House Committee on Un-American Activities, Eighty-Second Congress, first session, on July 6, 1951"

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.ro 9:^ 15. 4a 1 22 

Given By 





(Testimony of Jack H. Kawano) 






JULY 6, 1951 

Printed for the use of the Committee on Un-American Activities 

86378 WASHINGTON : 1951 




AUG 9 1951 


United States House of Representatives 

JOHN S. WOOD, Georgia, Chairman 

FRANCIS E. WALTER, Pennsylvania HAROLD H. VELDE, Illinois 


CLYDE DOYLE, California DONALD L. JACKSON, California 

JAMES B. FRAZIER, Jr., Tennessee CHARLES E. POTTER .Michigan 

Feank S. Tavenner, Jr., Counsel 

Louis J. Russell, Senior Investigator 

John W. Carrington, Clerk of Committee 

Raphael I. Nixon, Director of Research 




(Note. — The earlier testimony of Jack H. Kawano, to which refer- 
ence is made herein, was taken by a Subcommittee of the Committee 
on Un-American Activities on April 19, 1950, and appears in hearings 
regarding Communist activities in the Territory of Hawaii — pt. 3, 
pp. 2055-2057.) 

FRIDAY, JULY 6, 1951 

United States House of Representatives, 

Subcommittee of the 
Committee on Un-American Activities, 

Washington, D. C. 
executive session 

A subcommittee of the Committee on Un-American Activities met, 
pursuant to call, at 10:45 a. m. in room 226, Old House Office Building, 
Hon. Francis E. Walter, presiding. 

Committee members present: Representatives Francis E. Walter, 
Morgan M. Moulder, Clyde Doyle, and Harold H. Velde. 

Staff members present: Frank S. Tavenner, Jr., counsel; Thomas W. 
Beale, Sr., assistant counsel; Courtney E. Owens, investigator; John 
W. Carrington, clerk; and Raphael I. Nixon, director of research. 

Mr. Walter. The committee will come to order. 

For the purposes of this hearing, the chairman of the committee has 
designated a subcommittee consisting of Messrs. Moulder, Doyle, 
Velde, and Walter, all of whom are present. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Chairman, the hearing this morning is in the 
nature of a continuance of the Hawaii hearings, and due to the cir- 
cumstances we feel it should be an executive session, and the committee 
has so determined. 

Mr. Walter. Mr. Kawano, will you stand and hold up your right 
hand, please. Do you swear the testimony you are about to give 
shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help 
you God? 

Mr. Kawano. I do, sir, 


Mr. Tavenner. Will you state yom- full name, please? 

Mr. Kawano. My name is Jack H. Kawano. 

Mr. Tavenner. When and where were you born, Mr. Kawano? 

Air. Kawano, I was born at Puna, T. H., on February 27, 1911. 



Mr. Tavenner. Have you lived substantially all your life in the 
Territory of Hawaii? 

Mr. Kawano. All of my life, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Wliat has been your educational training, Mr. 

Mr. Kawano. I went up to the seventh gi'ade. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you state to the committee what your em- 
ployment record has been; that is, how you have been employed since 
the time you attained your majority? 

Mr. Kawano. I was fii-st employed by the Hakalau sugar planta- 
tion, thenlmoved to the Taketa Transportation, then the Hawaiian 
Pineapple Co. at Lanai, as a truck ch'iver. 

Then I moved to Honolulu, and in Honolulu I worked as a truck 
driver for Mr. Himuro, Mr. Fukamachi, and Mr. Amii, as a truck 

In early 1934 I started working on the water front as a longshoreman 
for Matson Navigation Co., and then for Honolulu Stevedores, and 
for Castle & Cooke Terminals, Ltd. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you have any other employment beside that; 
that is, were you employed by a union as a full-time employee? 

Mr. Kawano. Yes. I started working for the union during the 
summer of 1937 without pay, and I continued working for the same 
union until the end of 1949. After we first got organized in 1941, the 
union decided to pay me, and I started out on the union pa3Toll in 
1941 until the end of 1949. 

Mr. Tavenner. What union was that? 

Mr. Kawano. I started first with the Honolulu Longshoremen's 
Association, and later on when it was affiliated with the ILWU on the 
west coast and changed affiliation from AFL to CIO, I worked for the 
ILWU-CIO. That was the end of 1937 or 1938. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Kawano, you appeared as a witness before 
the subcommittee of the Committee on Un-American Activities sent 
to Hawaii in April 1950, and at that time you answered the question 
as to whether or not you were a member of the Communist Party at 
that time? 

Mr. Kawano. I did. 

Mr. Tavenner. And you testified that you were not a member of 
the Communist Party? 

Mr. Kawano. I did. 

Mr. Tavenner. But you refused to answer any and all other 
questions relating to past affiliations with the Communist Party? 

Mr. Kawano. That is right. 

Mr. Tavenner. You were then cited by the House of Representa- 
tives for contempt for your refusal to answer those questions? 

Mr. Kawano. I was. 

Mr. Tavenner. And you were prosecuted and tried in the Federal 
courts of the Territory of Hawaii? 

Mr. Kawano. I was. 

Mr. Tavenner. And you were acquitted? 

Mr. Kawano. That is correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. You have now been subpenaed to appear again 
before this committee. That is correct, is it? 

Mr. Kawano. That is correct, sir. 


Mr. Tavenner. Arc you willin<2; now to cooperate with the com- 
inittee and tell the eoniniittee all you know about Commuiiist activities 
in the Territory of Hawaii? 

Mr. K.vwANO. That is correct. Tn fact, T asked for this opportunity 
to be heard. I think it is ])roper for me to here say that even at the 
time I testified in 1950, 1 wanted to testify, but because of some 
reasons I decided not to go ahead with it. 

Mr. Tavenner. Why is it that you refused to testify when you 
were called before the subcommittee in session in Hawaii, and that 
you are now willing to testify? 

Mr. Kawano. Well, there have been many reasons, but the major 
reasons why I refused to testify at that time I think could be illustrated 
fairly well in that letter I sent to the ILWU convention that was lu4d 
early this year. 

Air. Tavenner. Are you referring to the letter of April 5, 1951, 
addressed to the convention delegates to the ILWX^ convention? 

Mr. Kawano. That is correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. Wliere was that convention held? 

Mr. Kawano. H was held in Honolulu. 

Mr. Tavenner. I hand you an alleged copy of the letter and ask 
if it is the letter you refer to? 

Mr. Kawano. Yes. This is a true copy of the letter I sent to the 
convention delegates. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Chairman, I would hke to read the letter into 
the record. [Reading:] 

Honolulu, T. H., April 5, 1951. 
To Convention Delegates. 

Ninth Biennial ILWU Convention. 

Honolulu. T. H.: 

Dear Friends: Allow me to take this opportunity to extend my "Aloha" to 
you convention delegates. I sincerely hope that your convention will be success- 
ful, and will result in further strengthening the ILWU. 

I believe one of the problems facing this convention is to clarify the policy 
of the ILWU with regard to the right of the individual to testify or not to testify 
before Un-American Activity Committees. 

I wanted to testify at the last hearing, but I was advised by the officers of the 
ILWU including its attorney not to testify, so I followed their advice and did 
not testify before the Un-American Activities Committee hearing. 

Later t realized that I made a mistake. My thinking here is based on two 
points ; 

1. In view of the world situation, where our country is at war with com- 
munist forces in Korea, I cannot see myself assisting Communists or com- 
muni'^m in anv wav, particularly when you consider them to be enemies of 
our country. "Therefore, I feel I owe it to my country to bring to light all 
I know about Communist activities in Hawaii. 

2. While I participated as a Communist in the ILWU, predetermining its 
policies from time to time, I realized that each time I engaged in such activities, 
I was undermining, and violating the policies and principles set forth in the 
constitiUion of the ILWU as clarified by resolution No. 11 adopted on Jan- 
uarv 27, 1951, attached to the resolution on Red-baiting, entitled "Statement 
of Principles Adopted at the Territorial Sugar Unitv Conference Held in 
Hilo, Hawaii, January 3, 4, 5, 1948." The third paragraph of the statement 
reads as follows: 

"The ILWU is governed by the principles and policies formulated through 

the democrati'' machinery of tl^e union. ' No political party, Connnunist, 

Reijublican, Democratic, or other, and no racial or religious group, shall 

determine our policies." 

Around the latter part of July, or early August 1950, when the Un-America,n 

Activities Committee investigator came back to Hawaii, I wanted to testify in 

order to clear myself, both with my country and also with the union. I told 

regional director Jack Hall of my opinion and intentions. 


However, he made it very clear to me that if I testified I would be regarded 
as a union breaker, also that I would be regarded as a rat by the entire member- 
ship of the ILWU and that my name would he mud from that time on. 

I told him that by testifying I would be helping the union because through it 
I would be able to bring to the attention of the ILWU those that are predeter- 
mining policy of the union and that therefore are violating the principles and 
policies of the ILWU as set forth in its constitution. Therefore I considered it 
my duty to bring this to the attention of the union. Hall insisted that that was 
ratting. I disagreed with liim and gave the following example as an argument. 
"If my union is out on strike, and I knew of some of the members scabbing on 
our strike, I certainly would consider it my duty to bring this to the attention 
of the striking membership, and by doing that I do not consider myself a rat. 
On the contrary, I would consider myself a good union member by bringing it 
to the attention of the union. And the same thing goes when someone or a 
group of individuals is violating the constitution of the union." 

I had similar conversations not only Mith Hall, but also with McElrath and 
Arena. But they all ended up the same way, "You will break the union, we will 
call you a rat in the ILWU, and your name will be mud." 

So that time again I did not testify. 

At that same time Hall offered me a Job with the ILWU. I told him that I 
would gladly accept the job provided he agreed to allow me two privileges: 

1. That I be allowed to testify. 

2. That I don't have to take "dictation from the Communist Party. 
The offer was v/ithdrawn promptly. 

As time went on I became more and more convinced that I did wrong by not 
testifying, and so on February 10, 1951, I made my position clear to the mem- 
bership of the Union and to the public. A copy of that statement is attached 

And that was a press release, Mr. Cb airman, and I would like to 
introduce that press release in evidence upon the completion of the 
reading of this letter. [Continuing reading:] 

Although I am not a member of the ILWU at this time, I am still a union 
man at heart. Any man who gives 15 of his best years to the labor movement, 
7 of which spent organizing without compensation while being unemployed, 
cannot simply wipe off his memories and union habits and sentiments overnight. 

Therefore, I am verj' much interested in the policy of the ILWU. 

There is no question that the ILWU's policy is to support those witnesses who 
refused to testify at the hearing. 

Is it also the policy of the ILWU to guarantee to its members the right to 
testify at any such hearings if that happens to be their convictions? 

For the benefit of the membership of the union, and in order to further strengthen 
the ILWU, I feel it is important for the policy of the ILWU to be clarified not 
only for the benefit of the Communists, who I believe have a right to belong to 
the union as long as they do not violate the constitution of the union, but also 
for the individuals who disagree with communism, know its operation in the 
ILWU, where they are predetermining policies for the ILWU, and want to bring 
this to the attention of the membership, but cannot do this because the policy 
of the ILWU does not seem to support them in their position, and because the 
officers of the union particularly discourage it. 

Therefore, I strongly urge that the ILWU convention go on record guaranteeing 
the right of the individuals to follow their convictions, be it refusing or not re- 
fusing to testify before any committee, governmental or union, which has authority 
to investigate communism. 
Fraternally yours, 

Jack H. Kawano. 

I desire now to offer in evidence the news release referred to in the 
body of the letter which I have just read, and ask that it be marked 
''Kawano exhibit No. 1." 

Mr. Walter. Mark it and let it be received. 

(The news release above referred to, marked "Kawano exhibit No. 
1" and received in evidence, is as follows:) 


[News release, February 10, 1951] 

(By: Jack Kawano, former President of ILWU Local 137) 

All during the latter part of 1949 and in 1950, and even up to the present time, 
I have been approached on many occasions by members of the ILWU and asked 
the following questions* 

1. Are you an organizer for the CIO? 

2. Are j^ou a Conmuinist? 

3. Have you ever b(>en a Communist? 

These questions have been constantly on my mind because, as many of the 
ILWU members know, I pioneered the organization of the Waterfront Union 
which, in turn, sparked the organizational drive among workers in the sugar in- 
dustry, which became the backlwne of the ILWU in Hawaii. Because of this 
I knew that some day I should publicly answer these questions. 

Now that the contempt case against me is cleared, I feel I am able to make my 
personal position clear to all those who may be interested, without fear of in- 
timidation or coercion from any source. 

I wish all to know* that I am not an organizer for the CIO. 

]My position is that in the event anyone tried to split the ILWU by raids or 
otherwise I would help in whatever way I could to maintain unity within the 
membership of the ILWU. 

I am not a Communist. However, I was a member of the Communist Party. 
I joined the Communist Party because some individual Communists were willing 
to assist me in organizing the Waterfront LTnion. The w^ater-front employers 
were totalh^ intolerant of labor unions. They did all they could to smash all 
attempts to organize the water front. No civic or community organizations 
showed any signs of willingness to assist in our organizing efforts. I did not 
think it was harmful to the union as long as the Communists were willing to assist 
me in bringing up the living standards of the workingman because they led me to 
believe that the basic existence of the Communist Party was primarily to pro- 
mote the best interests of the workingman. 

I decided to quit the Communist Party because I found that the primary exist- 
ence of the Communist Party was not for the best interests of the workingman 
but to dupe the members of the union, to control the union, and to use the union 
for purposes other than strictly trade-union matters. 

The Communists play rings around the rank and file members of the union and 
their union's constitutions, by meeting separately and secretlj' among themselves 
and making prior decisions on ail important union policy matters, such as the 
question of strikes, election of officers, ratification of union agreements, the ques- 
tion of American foreign policy, and all other important matters of the Union. 

Primarily all of tiiese decisions are made on the basis of what is good for the 
Communist Party and not what is good for the membership of the union. 

For instance, in the election of officers of the sugar local in 1946, the Com- 
munist Party met and made their decision, which was to get their candidate 
elected at all cost. As a result of this decision, I was informed that the Com- 
munists stuffed the ballot box on behalf of their candidate. 

Another instance was the proposed sugar strike of 1949 at the time when the 
longshore strike was on. The Communist Party had met and made a decision 
to pull the workers in the sugar industry out on strike. Had they been able to 
call out the sugar workers on strike at that time, when the longshoreman were 
having a life-and-death struggle in their strike against the water-front employers, 
the strike for both the longshoreman and the sugar workers would have been 

There is no real local autonomy as long as the rank-and-file members allow the 
Communist Party, through the few Communists in their union, to predetermine 
all important matters on union policy and dominate their union. 

Today I am more than ever convinced that I did right by quitting the Com- 
munist Party, for in view of the international situation, when our boys are giving 
their lives to their country which is at war with Communist Korea and China, 
I caiHiot help but believe that anyone who is a Communist and is willing to assist 
Conununist Korea, China, or any other Communist nation today is dangerously 
flirting with treason against his own country. 

For the sake of the union, I call on you to check on what I have said. It is 
your duty to investigate, to ask pointed questions to get information. When you 
have flone so, you will find the destructive effects of communism within the union. 
I strongly urge the rank-and-file members of the ILWLT, every one of them, to fight 
to keep the control and the management of their union and union activities in 


the hands of the rank-and-file members. To accomplish this important task, all 
Communists and those who follow the Communist line should be rejected by the 
rank-and-file membership. 

Mr. Tavenner. Mr. Kawano, what disposition was made of this 
letter which you delivered to the convention of the ILWU? 

Mr. Kawano. Well, from what I understand — I was not a delegate 
so I was not present — but from what I understand, getting some news 
from the newspapers and from some of the delegates that attended 
that convention, I understand that Bridges did not read that letter to 
the delegates of the convention, but instead notified the delegates of 
the convention that he got a letter from me. He did not expose the 
contents of the letter, but stated that that letter was not worth 
reading and wasting the convention's time because it was sent to 
the convention by a man he called "rat" and "traitor to the working 
class" and so on. He threw it in the wastebasket; and the convention, 
I believe, supported his position. 

Mr. Tavenner. You said that the letter was delivered to the 
convention by a person to whom he referred as "rat"? 

Mr. Kawano. No. Bridges said that letter was sent to the con- 
vention by a person whom he considered a rat and a traitor to the 
working class. 

Mr. Tavenner. Referring to the writer of the letter, yourself? 

Mr. Kawano. That is correct. 

Air. Tavenner. Is the Bridges to whom you referred Harry 

Mr. Kawano. That is correct, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you well acquainted with Harry Bridges? 

Mr. Kawano. I have loiown him for several years. 

Mr. Tavenner. I hand you a photograph and ask you whose it is? 

Mr. Kawano. It is a photograph of Harry Bridges, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. How did you obtain possession of it? 

Air. Kawano. This I got from him sometime in September 1945 
on my way home from attending a board meeting in Washington, 
D. C. Exactly where he gave this to me, I don't remember. It 
might have been in Washington or in San Francisco, but I take it as 
an acknowledgment on his part recognizing the part I did in organizing 
the labor movement in the Territory. 

Mr. Tavenner. Is there a note in his own hand^\Titing on the 

Mr. Kawano. Yes. It states on the left-hand side, "To Kawano, 
who pioneered in leading a great movement. Harry Bridges, Sep- 
tember 1945." 

Mr. Tavenner. What was Bridges' connection with the ILWU at 
the time that he presented his photograph to you? 

Air. Kawano. His position at that time was president of the 
International Longshoremen's and W^arehousemen's Union, and I 
think also regional director for Northern California CIO. 

Air. Tavenner. And what was his position at the time of the con- 
vention that was held in April 1951 in Honolulu? 

Mr. Kawano. President of the International Longshoremen's and 
Warehousemen's Union, independent. 

Mr. Tavenner. Air. Kawano, you stated that in early 1934 you 
started working on the water front as a longshoreman for Alatson 
Navigation Co. 


Mr. Kawan'o. Yes, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. I wish you would bpoin at that point and tell the 
committee in your own way and in your own words what you know 
about Communist activities in the Territory of Hawaii, and during 
the course of your statement I will probably interrupt you a number 
of times and ask you questions more in detail. 

Mr. KawaiXo. Yes. I tlunk, though, in order to give you a clear 
picture of the beginning of communism as I remember it on the 
islands, I feel it necessary to go back a few years and start from the 
time 1 started working on the water front, the conditions that existed, 
and so on; so, if you don't mind, I would like to do that. 

Mr. Tavenner. That will be satisfactory. 

Mr. Kawano. In 1934, on the water front, when I was first em- 
ployed there, there was no union; and in order for one to get a job and 
l)e. able to hold on to it, it was almost an impossibility unless he 
brought gifts and bribes to his foreman. Discrimination, favoritism, 
no job security, low wages, speed-ups, dangerous working conditions 
were all part of a daily routine. The workers' need for a union was so 
great that it was not funny. 

In October 1935, when the West Coast Firemen's Union opened a 
hiring hall in Honolidu, and later when the same hiring hall was shared 
by the Sailors' Union of the Pacific, the officers of both the Firemen's 
Union and the Sailors' Union of the Pacific paid for and reserved a 
small space in the same hiring hall for an organizing committee. 
This organizing committee was headed by Maxie Weisbarth, who was 
then agent for the Sailors' Union of the Pacific, and Harry Kealoha, a 
member of the Marine Fireman, Oilers, and Water Tenders Union at 
that time. 

The first organizing drive among longshoremen was launched by 
Weisbarth and Kealoha, aided b}^ others like Charlie Post, and so 
forth. However, I did not join the union at that time because they 
did not permit workers of oriental descent to become members of that 

I joined the Longshoremen's Association of Honolulu in November 
1935, when the organizers changed their policy and made it possible 
for workers of oriental extraction to become members of the union. 

Several organizational meetings were called, and they w^ere fairly 
well attended. However, then* efforts in organizing was defeated 
W'hen the w^ater-front employers offered Thanksgiving turkey to the 
workers on Christmas, and the workers w^ere told that the turkey was 
a present to them from the company, and if they did not listen to the 
rachcal agitators from Sailors' Hall they would be getting better things 
from the company in the future. 

I was one of the few who ignored the company's advice, and con- 
tinued my membership in the union until I got fired in 1936. I was 
not fired long before I talked my way back on the job. When I was 
reemployed, I got fired again because the company found that I did 
not quit the union. This time I was fired until the end of the 1936-37 
Pacific coast maritime strike, which ended in February 1937. 

At the end of that strike, with the aid of some members of the 
sailors' union and the firemen's union, I managed to get my job on 
the water front back again. 

86378—51 — pt. 4- 


So I went back to work on the water front in early February 1937. 
However, because I could not get transferred to my former sugar 
gang, I left the water-front job in July 1937 to work full time as a 
water-front organizer for the union without pay. 

Organizing in those days was very difficult. I used to talk to 
workers on then way to and from work; visited them at their homes 
and talked to them; signed up and collected dues from some of them; 
but because we were not able to show any encouraging results, these 
people gradually dropped out of the|union. 

I used to borrow Willie Crozier's p. a. system to organize mass 
meetings along the water front in the mornings. 

Mr. Tavenner. ^Vhat do you mean by ''p. a. system?" 

Mr. Kawano. Public-address system. I used to make leaflets 
and distribute them among workers on the water front in the mornings 
and afternoons. 

But because the emplo3^ers had organized a company union, sports 
clubs, and so forth, to divert the attention of the workers elsewhere, 
and because they used the leaders of this company union to dis- 
criminate and threaten organizers and members of the union, and 
because through their company union they raised the wages from 40 
to 50 cents during the 1936-37 strike, we were never able to get the 
majority of the employees into the union at any one time during those 

This situation continued from 1935 on until we finally got organized 
and won our first agreement on the water front in the spring of 1941. 

There were many enthusiastic organizers in the beginning, but as 
time went on, and no organizational results showed, these organizers 
and union leaders gradually dropped out of existence. Some of these 
organizers and leaders were Maxie Weisbarth, Harry Kealoha, Ed- 
ward Berman, Levi Kealoha, Jack Hall, to mention a few. However, 
Frederick Kamahoahoa and I kept plugging until we finally organized 
the water front with the aid of some of the more active union men on 
the water front. 

Some of the more active union men who played an important part 
in assisting us organize the water front were Takeshi Yamanchi, 
Chuiiro Hokama, Kana Shimiabakuro, Naoji Yokoyama, Kiheji 
Nishi, Daniel Machado, Jr., Francis Perkins, Ben Kahaawinui. Lefty 
Chang, William Halm, William Piilani, John Akiu, Solomon Niheu, 
and a few others. 

Wliile we were organizing, there was a strike of sugar workers on 
the Puunene plantation in 1937. The strike lasted for 2 to 3 months. 
When the strike began, Maxie Weisbarth sent a man by the name of 
Ben wShear from Honolulu to assist the sugar workers in their strike 
and to help them along. The idea was to try to get them to join the 
HLA, Honolulu Longshoremen's Association. 

These plantation strikers and their leaders seemed to be very 
interested, but because we were not able to give them any substantial 
financial assistance the strikers decided to stay independent from 
HLA and did not affiliate themselves with HLA, Honolulu Long- 
shoremen's Association. 

Just about the same time the longshoremen in Port Allen, Kauai, 
went on strike. They demanded recognition of their union, adjust- 
ment of grievances, and better wages. 

COjMMUNIST activities in HAWAII 9 

Ben Shear, who was at that time in Maui, was pulled out from 
Maui, and he, together with George Goto, was assigned to go to Kauai 
and assist the strikers in Kauai. Ben Shear and George Goto did a 
great deal in building up the strength of the longshore union in Port 
Allen and in Ahukini. 

Meanwhile, Bill Bailey, a Communist, was sent from Honolulu to 
Maui, to assist the strikers there. He stayed with the strikers until 
the strike was finally settled without any written agreement, and as a 
result of that the Plantation Union was broken after the end of the 

NoAV comes my first Communist meeting. The first Communist 
meeting that I attended was held, I believe, in the room on Emma 
Street near Beretania Street occupied by William Bailey. 

Mr. Tavenner. Let me interrupt you there. Will you tell the 
committee all you know about William. Bailey? 

Mr. Kawano. I do not know very much about William Bailey, 
but he was the first man that I recall as a Communist. I saw him 
when he came to Honolulu. I saw him. when he was assigned to assist 
the plantation strikers on the Island of Maui, and I saw him. when he 
came back from. Maui. It was when he came back from. Maui that 
I saw hmi. in his room on Emma Street, where several people came. 
Most of the people in that room, were seam.en. Some were members 
of the Sailors' Union of the Pacific and some were members of the 
Marine Firemen's Union. Bailey was a member of the Marine 
Firemen's Union. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long had Bailey been in the Territory of 

Mr. Kawano. At the tim.e I him. in this meeting, he was in the 
Territory from 2. to 3 months. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know what part of the United States 
Bailey came from.? 

Mr. Kawano. I understood he came from the west coast, but he 
was previously from the east coast, Brooklyn, N. Y., I think. 

Mr. Tavenner. As I understood it, you met in the rooms occupied 
bv William Bailey as vour first introduction into the Communist 

Mr. Kawano. That is correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell us how you happened to go there and 
what occurred? 

Mr. Kawano. Well, I was escorted to this m.eeting by Edward 
Berman, who was at that time a nominal organizational head of the 
union in Honolulu. At this meeting, Bailey gave a lecture that 
lasted anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour. He issued us member- 
ship cards in the Travelers' Club, otherwise known as a Communist 
card. He told us that as long as we carried that card we would be 
respected by all good union m.en from the m.ainland, and we could 
coimt on Harry Bridges to help us. He also asked us to volunteer in 
the Spanish Loyalist Army, but no one volunteered. 

Mr. Tavenner. You stated that Edward Berman took you to that 
meeting. Had he talked to you about the Communist Party at 
any tim.e prior to that meeting? 

^Ir. Kawano. He did not. All he did was tell me to com.e along 
with him, that it was going to be a very important meeting and he 
wanted me to be there. 


Mr. Tavenner. Had any of the other persons present at that meet- 
ing talked to you about the Communist Party before that evening? 

Mr. Kawano. Nobody did, sir. 

Mr. Tavenner. You say that you were given a membership card 
in the Travelers' Club? 

Mr. Kawano. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you explain what that club was? 

Mr. Kawano. From what I understand, that was a membership 
book signifying that you are a member of the Communist Party. I 
understood there is a slight difference between those people who 
carry a Communist Party book offshore and inshore. In this case 
it was an offshore group, and it was impossible for them to belong to 
one unit, because seamen travel all over the country, so to make them 
eligible to attend meetings wherever they go, in every port, they have 
one unified card system, and I think that was supposed to be this 
Travelers' card system. A man carrying a Travelers' card from New 
York would be eligible to attend a meeting in Honolulu, and vice 

Mr. Moulder. That is, a Communist meeting? 

Mr. Kawano. That is correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did that entitle you to attend meetings in ports 
other than the United States, such as Canada and Mexico? 

Mr. Kawano. It did not say. The card definitely stated "Travel- 
ers' card," and did not say whether it had privileges outside of the 
United vStates or not. 

Mr. Tavenner. But it did constitute membership in and assign- 
ment to a group of the Communist Party of the United States? 

Mr. Kawano. To the water-front section, yes. 

Incidentally, another thing about this fellow Bailey, I think it was 
in 1937 or 1938 when there was a German ship in New York Harbor — 
I think the name of the ship was the Bremen — you remember some 
people going aboard at night and yanking dovin the German flag, 
some kind of demonstration in New York Harbor; this fellow Bailey 
was one of those. There were three or four who participated in that 

Mr. Tavenner. You stated that Bailey gave a lecture of 45 minutes 
to an hour. Can vou recall at this time anvthing that he told vou? 

Mr. Kawano. It is really hard for me to recall, but roughly, the 
general trend of thought was like this — that the bosses are no good; 
that workers can live without the bosses, and we should try to get 
rid of the bosses by forming an organization and fighting the bosses, 
first through the union and later through the revolution, or something 
like that. 

Mr. Walter. It would interest you to know that recently a young 
Chinaman testified before the Committee on Immigration and 
Naturalization, and told exactly the same storv in relating what 
occurred in China when the Communists moved in. Then when the 
Communists came into power, the owners of this small factory where 
he worked were murdered. So you can see that what you were told 
about the bosses being bad is a part of the general line that the 
Communists employ. 

Mr. Kawano. For instance, he explained that what is going on in 
Madrid, Spain, today is a fine example; that is was a government 
constituted by the people of Spain, but they were being resisted by a 


biincli of capitalists. And lie said a figlit for the Tioyalist government 
in Spain was a liiilit for the working class. Me finally asked if anyone 
in the group wanted to volunteer in the Spanish Ijoyalist Army. 

Mr. T.WENNER. Then it appears that William Bailey was recruit- 
ing both for the Communist Party and for volunteers for the war in 

Mr. Kawano. That is true. I think everybody signed up in the 
Communist Party through the Travelers' Club who attended that 
meeting, but. nobody volunteered for Loyalist Spain. 

Mr. Tavenxer. Do you knoAv the names of any other persons who 
signed up in the Communist Party at that meeting other than your- 

Mr. Kawano. Edward Berman. James Coolev was there, a mem- 
ber of the Sailors' Union of the Pacific. \\ illiam Bailey was there.. 
I believe Paul Kalina, a member of the sailors' union, was there at 
that time. And I think Benjamin Kahaawinui was there. Those 
are all the names I remember. 

Mr. Tavenner. In your explanation of the situation confronting 
the union organizers at the time that you joined the Communist 
Party, you mentioned the names of a number of people. I would 
like to ask you if you found out at any later time whether or not any 
of those people were members of the Communist Party. For in- 
stance, you mentioned Maxie Weisbarth. 

Mr. Kawano. Maxie Weisbarth, to my loiowledge, was never a 
member of the Communist Party. 

Mr. Tavenner. Harry Kealoha. 

Mr. Kawano. He was never to my knowledge a member of the 
Communist Party. 

Mr. Tavenner. Charles Post. 

Mr. Kawano. To my knowledge he was never a member of the 
Communist Party. 
. Mr. Tavenner. Levi Kealoha. 

Mr. Kawano. Levi Kealoha; yes, sir, he was. 

Mr. Tavenner. You found later that he w^as a member of the 
Communist Party? 

Mr. Kawano. That is right. 

Mr. Tavenner. Jack Hall. 

Mr. Kawano. He was. 

Mr. Tavenner. Takeshi Yamanchi. 

Mr. Kawano. He was not. 

Mr. Tavenner. Chujiro Hokama. 

Mr. Kawano. Never. 

Mr. Tavenner. Kana Shimiabakuro. 

Mr. Kawano. Never. 

Mr. Tavenner. Naoji Yokoyama. 

Mr. Kawano. Never. 

Mr. Tavenner. Kiheji Nishi. 

Mr. Kawano. Never. 

Mr. Tavenner. Daniel Machado, Jr. 

Mr. Kawano. Never. 

Mr. Tavenner. Francis Perkins. 

Mr. Kawano. Never. 

Mr. Tavenner. Ben Kahaawinui. 

Ml-. Kawano. He was. 


Mr. Tavenner. Lefty Chang. 

Mr. Kawano. Never. 

Mr. Tavenner. William Halm. 

Mr. Kawano. Never. 

Mr. Tavenner. William Piilani. 

Mr. Kawano. He was. Incidentally, that William Piilani is the 
William Kamaka who testified before you. 

Mr. Tavenner. John Akiu. 

Mr. Kawano. Never. 

Mr. Tavenner. Solomon Niheu. 

Mr. Kaw^ano. I don't recall. This boy had been with us in the 
early stages, but about 1941 or 1940 he bad been shifted over to the 
Island of Molokai because he contracted lepros}^. Today he is in 
that leprosy settlement. Personally I would say he was never a 
member of the Communist Party. 

Mr. Tavenner. Ben Shear. 

Mr. Kawano. Not to my knowledge. 

Mr. Tavenner. You stated that Ed Berman brought you to this 

Mr. Kawano. That is correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did you ever talk to him on any other occasion 
regarding the Communist Party? 

Mr. Kawano. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know whether or not he was a mem.ber of 
the Communist Party? 

Mr. Kawano. He was a member of the Communist Party. 

Mr. Walter. How long had he lived in Hawaii? 

Mr. Kawano. I thmk he lived there from about 1935 until about 
the end of 1939. Then he left the islands in the latter part of 1939 
or early 1940 and came back around the middle of 1946. 

Mr. Tavenner. Jack Kimoto is another witness subpenaed before 
the subsommittee that met in Hawaii. Were you acquainted with 

Mr. Kawano. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Tell the committee how and when you first became 
acquainted with Jack Kimoto. 

Mr. Kawano. I first knew him when he was introduced to me by 
George Goto. Goto told me that Kimoto was a very good uiterpreter 
of the Japanese-English language, and could help me a great deal in 
my union work as far as propagandizing among the Japanese was 

He, together with George Goto, spent close to a year writing all 
sorts of teafiets for me to be distributed among the Japanese alien 
longshoremen on the water front. However, because of their strong 
tendency to insert Communist ideas into the leaflets, their organiza- 
tional propaganda was rejected by the alien Japanese on the water 
front, and it did us more harm "than good. Later the writing of 
Japanese leaflets to be distributed am_ong alien Japanese was done 
almost exclusively by Mr. Takeshi Yam.anchi. His ideas were ac- 
cepted by the Japanese aliens, and later his leaflets played a major 
part in organizmg the men on the water front. 

In early 1938 we decided — — 

Mr. Tavenner. Just a moment. Did you know that Kimoto was 
a member of the Communist Party at the time that you were intro- 
duced to him by George Goto? 


Mr. Kawano. Not at that particular time, ])iit Kimoto as a matter 
of fact introduced himself, after th(> fu-st irtroduction by Goto, that 
he was sent here fi-om the mainland as a party organizer, and it was 
liis duty to see that the party people got together and started forming 
organizations in the Territory, and that it was his responsibility to 
see to it that those cells were organized. 

Mr. Moulder. When vou refer to party you mean Communist 

Mr. Kawaxo. That is right. 

Mr. Tavenner. How long had Kimoto been in the Territory of 
Hawaii before he told you this? 

Mr. Kawano. Not very long. From what I understand, he came 
back to the islands in 1938, and it may have been 1 or 2 or 3 weeks 
after he came back that he told me that. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know anything more about Kimoto's 
activities at that time? 

Mr. Kawano. Not very much. 

Mr. Tavenner. If he was an organizer, what did he do as organizer 
of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Kawano. I think at that time, around the 3^ear 1938 and after 
that, he was most instrumental, I guess, in bringing about the forma- 
tion of a group of these people who carried so-called Travelers' cards. 
Somehow he had information as to wdio were the people who carried 
Travelers' cards. He got in touch with them, one by one, and was 
later able to form a group, mainly of water-front people, but w^ith a 
few outsiders. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was that his purpose in getting in touch with you? 

Mr. Kawana. I think his main purpose was that, and was to assist 
me in organizing the water front. 

Mr. Tavenner. You mean organizing the union, or organizing the 

Mr. Kawano. In this case organizing the union, but Kimoto's 
intention, maybe, was that while assisting me in organizing the union 
he would be able to get in touch with a lot of other people whom he 
might pass his judgment on as good prospective recruits. That may 
have been the basic reason whv he worked with me so close. 

Mr. Tavenner. George Goto, do you know whether he was a 
member of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Kawano. He was a member of the Communist Party. 

Mr. Tavenner. All right, if you wih proceed. 

Mr. Kawano. In early 1938 we decided to organize the sailors and 
longshoremen. This was because many seamen and longshoremen 
expressed their willingness to become members of the union. So we 
decided to organize the longshoremen into the ILWU and the seamen 
into the IBU; that is, the longslioremen into the International Long- 
shoremen's and Warehousemen's Union, and the seamen into the 
Inland Boatmen's Union. 

Herman and Hall led the organizing drives among the sailors, and 
we took over the organizational work among the longshoremen. 

Mr. Tavenner. Is Hall the same person as Jack Hall? 

Mr. Kawano. That is correct, sir. 

We got them organized in a few weeks, and started negotiations 
with the employers for recognition of our union. However, we did 
not reach first base, and therefore we pulled the seamen and long- 


shoremen out on a joint strike in the summer of 1938. It was supposed 
to be a joint strike between the IBU and the ILWU, and the verbal 
understanding between the two unions was: "(1) We will strike 
together; (2) we will settle the strike together; and (3) no one, IBU 
or ILWU, will go back to work until both unions have negotiated a 
satisfactory settlement with the employers." 

After 3 months of striking and particularly after the Hilo massacre, 
where my good friend Bert Nakaiio was shot up and crippled for 
life, some of the seamen lost interest in the strike and started to 
individually make contacts with the employers and started a back-to- 
work movement. 

Berman and some of the IBU leaders knew this, so they negotiated 
a fast settlement for the members of the IBU, while we who were 
leading the strike of the longshoremen wanted to continue our strike 
a little longer. 

One day after negotiations with the employers, when we came back 
to the union hall, to our disappointment we found that the members of 
the IBU had already met and voted to go back to work, and they were 
already issuing strike clearances to their members. 

We raised hell, and pleaded with them to hang on a little while 
longer until we completed negotiations with our employers. We 
asked them to live up to our original agreement when we first decided 
to go out on strike, that "No one, IBU or ILWU, will go back to work 
until both unions have negotiated a satisfactory settlement with the 

But it did not do us any good. Berman told us at that time that 
the boys could not stay another minute longer on strike, and if they 
stayed their union would be busted; and that furthermore, the IBU 
were the majority of the strikers, and therefore they had the right to 
vote us down in the joint strike meeting. 

There was nothing else for us to do but get in touch with the 
employers and settle for whatever they were wilhng to offer, and we 
settled that strike on that basis. Our strike was completely lost. 
Within 3 months after the strike we lost the longshore union, and the 
IBU also went out of existence. 

All during these days we were attending Communist meetings in 
different parts of town. We often met at the office of the Voic^ of 
Labor; at Bartlett's home in Manoa; at Kakaako, where Hall and 
Imori used to occupy the same house; and once or twice in Kuliouou 
Beach, at the home of a friend of Bartlett's. 

Mr. Tavfnner. That was the period from the time when you first 
joined the Communist Party up to 1939, of which you are speaking? 

Mr. Kawano. That is right. 

Mr. Tavenner. During that period of time, did you hold any 
official position in the Communist Party? 

Mr. Kawano. During that time I was, I think, chairman of the 
water-front section. There were only two groups, one the uptown 
group, and the other the downtown group. The uptown group was 
for professional people, and the downtown group was for longshoremen 
and so forth. I was chairman of the longshoremen group, or down- 
town group. 

Mrr Tavenner. That was 1939? 

Mr. Kawano. That was 1938 and also 1939. 


^^r. Tavenner. Can you give us some idea as to tho membership 
of the down town ijroup of the Communist Party, of which you were 
the chairman, at that time, 1939? 

Mr. Kawano. Not very many; I think about 7 or 8, but always 10 
to 15 attended. The ad(Utional ones above the 7 or 8 were by inehid- 
ing people like Jack Hall, M'hom I did not consider a longshoreman; 
Imori, whom I did not consider a longshoreman; James Cooley, whom 
I did not consider a longshoreman; and John Reinecke, Dr. John 
Reinecke, whom I did not consid<^r a longshoreman. 

Mr. Tavexxer. Was Dr. John Reinecke a member of the down- 
town group? 

Mr. Kawano. No. He was a member of the uptowTi group, but 
he often would come sit in on tiie downtown group meetings. 

Mr. Tavexner. Can you give us the names of any of the other 
members of the do^^^ltowll group at that time? 

Mr. Kawano. I can't recall all, but I will try. 

Myself first. Frederick Kamahoahoa; John Elias, Jr.; William 
Kamaka; Ben Kahaawmui. There might have been two or three 
others, but I can't recall. They were not too active and did not 
continue long enough, so I can't recall them. But these were active 
right on through. 

Mr. Tavenner. AYliat was the principal activity of this Communist 
Party group up until 1939? 

Mr. Kawano. Until 1939, and even until a later date, when the 
long-!iore";en group met r.r.d thry wire not att?nded by ci:tsid?:-3 
like Hall, Remecke, and people like that, when the longsaoremen 
alone met, the subject the}^ talked about was how to organize, how to 
handle grievances, whom to recruit in the union, strictly trade-union 

Mr. Tavenner. ^Aliat group are you speaking of when you say the 
ILWTJ group; do you mean the union members or the Communists 
who were members of the ILWU? 

Mr. K.A.WANO. I am talkijig about Communist meetings where only 
members of the ILWU met, not including those outsiders. When 
they met the subjects they talked about were trade-union problems. 

Mr. Velde. You mentioneil that you often met at the office of the 
Voice of Labor. 

Mr. Kawano. That is so. 

Mr. Velde. \ATiat was the Voice of Labor. Was that a newspaper? 

Mr. Kawano. Yes, the Voice of Labor was a newspaper, supposed 
to be, on the surface, an independent newspaper, very strongly pro- 
labor. It professed to be the only paper that spoke in behaif of the 
working people, but it was not supported by workingmen but was 
organized and instigated by Communists. At that time I think 
Edward Berman, Jack Hall, and James Coole^^ were the three or- 
ganizei-s, and Corb}' Paxton — he was editor of the National Maritime 
Union PiloJ sometime back, a tall, skinny fellow — he w^as also one of 
the organizers of Voice of Labor. 

Mr. Tavenner. When you were referring to Communist Party 
meetings of members of the Communist Party who were also members 
of the ILWL", 3'ou spoke of outsiders. By outsiders you meant 
members of other groups or cells of the Communist Party? 

86378 — 51 — pt. 4- 


Mr. Kawano. I meant members of the uptown group, and also 
members of our group we did not consider close to us because they 
were not longshoremen. 

Mr. Tavenner. But they were all members of the Communist 

Mr. Kawano. That is correct. 

Mr. Walter. Did Hall ever work as a longshoreman? 

Mr. Kawano. Never did. 

Mr. Walter. Then his entire activity there was political? 

Mr. Kawano. I understand he made two or three trips as a member 
of the sailors' union, and was in the strike of 1936-37, and after the 
strike he did not care to go back as a seaman. 

Mr. Tavenner. I was asking about the activities of the Communist 
Party group up to 1939, and you were telling us about the discussion 
of trade-union problems at your Commimist Party meetings. Were 
there any particular or specific matters in which the Communist Party 
took a leading part and influenced the union at that time in carrying 
out any particular project? 

Mr. Kawano. Not that I can remember. During those days their 
policy to me was not too clear, except I had the feeling they were 
mainly interested in helping labor unions get organized, and they were 
doing their best to assist people to form unions. As far as their policy 
was concerned, what it was I don't know. Maybe they were concen- 
trating more in educating people, because when these outsiders came to 
our meetings, the subjects they brought up were not too interesting. 
They used to bring up things like economics, and things like that that 
the workingmen usually don't care for, educational things. They 
wanted us to do a lot of reading, and things like that. The fellows 
who wanted us to read were Kimoto and Ed Berman and to some 
extent Jack Hall. Sometimes they used to send guys like Reinecke 
and Francis Bartlett to our group to give lectures, and after the lec- 
tures to sell us books on communism. 

Mr. Tavenner. All right. Proceed. 

Mr. Kawano. I remember one of the topics discussed at Kakaako, 
at the home shared by Jack Hall and Imori, was regarding the picket- 
ing of ships carrying scrap iron to Japan from the west coast. This 
was either the latter part of 1937 or early 1938. 

Kenneth Sano, who had just arrived from the west coast, reported 
in the meeting that he was instructed by the California State com- 
mittee of the Communist Party to get us to picket the Japanese scrap- 
iron ships in the port of Honolulu. 

Those present were John Reinecke; Kenneth Sano; Koichi Imori; 
James Cooley; myself; A. Q. Leong, now Mrs. Bob McElrath; and a 
couple of others I do not remember. I am not so sure whether 
Rachel Saiki was at that meeting or not. 

The group decided we were not organized well enough to pull the 
stunt, so we did not go ahead with it. 

In the Kuliouou Beach home of a friend of Bartlett's one or two 
meetings were held. One of the things we discussed was the question 
of Edward Berman. Berman got so terribly shaken up after the 
strikes, especially after the IBU folded up, that the group felt he was 
totally useless and would be a bad influence on other Communists, so 
the group at this meeting decided to send him over to San Francisco. 

Mr. Tavenner. Wliat kind of meeting was th's? 


Mr. Kawano. This was a Communist meeting of the water-front 
section, attended also by some individuals belonging to the uptown 

The group at this meeting (h>cidod to send Borraan to S;in Francisco 
so that he would be able to regain his self-control. Kamahoahoa and 
I were instructed by the group to issue Berman a membership book 
in the IlvWlT, and to give him a visitor's permit from Honolulu so 
that he would be able to work in San Francisco as a longshoreman. 

We did that, and Berman v/ent to San Francisco. After a few 
months he came back and applied for a transfer into the San Francisco 
local. We offered him that, too, and never heard from Berman since 
that time until the 1946 election campaign. 

Mr. Tavenner. Who was chairman of the meeting which took that 

Mr. Kawano. I was chairman of that meeting. 

Mr. Tavenner. And who was chairman of the meeting that was 
held at the time the picketing of the ships was discussed? 

Mr. Kawano. I don't recall. It may have been John Reinecke. 

Mr. Tavenner. At the time you held this meeting relating to 
Berman, was the CommAmist Party organized to the extent of having 
a chairman, secretary-treasurer, and so forth? 

]\rr. Kawano. No. At that time the group just got together, and 
from time to time the group just nominat^-d who they felt shoidd be 
chairman of that pr.rticular meeting. So it was very logical that I 
could be chairman of one meeting and I could not be chairman of 
another meeting, but usually I was chairman because most of the 
guys \vho met with me were longshoremen. 

Mr. Tavenner. During this period up to 1939 how was the collec- 
tion of dues handled? 

Mr. Kawano. The collection of dues in the early part was done by 
James Cooley, until the latter part of 1937 or early part of 1938. I 
think it was around the middle of 1938 or latter part of 1938 when 
Kimoto officially set up this group and set up the olfices of secretary, 
educational director, and so on. 

Mr. Tavenner. So Kimoto was the one who set up the organiza- 
tion of the Commimist Party? 

Mr. Kawano. That is right. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know when he did that? 

Mr. Kawano. No; but it must have been sometime during the 
middle or latter part of 1938. If you check back on William Kamaka's 
testimony, I am pretty sure he stated that he collected dues for the 
group, and I think the time he started collecting dues for the group is 
the time we officially started paying dues into that group. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did 3'ou at any time attend a Communist Party 

Mr. Kawano. Yes, I did. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you state the circumstances under which that 

Mr. Kawano. Ai'ound the latter part of the summer of 1938, Jack 
Kimoto urged me to consider going to San Francisco to study labor 
economics at one of the special schools conducted by the Communist 
Party of the U. S. A. in Cahfornia. ITe told me that it was only a 5- 
vveek course, and that I could learn a lot, and I would be able to do a 
more effective job of organizing after 1 returned from school. 


He told me the party had already discussed this matter, and that if 
I agreed to go the Communist Party would take care of everything 
for me, including making money available for my famil,y's support 
while I was away. 

I was further urged by Bartlett, Reinecke, Hall, and William 
Kamaka to go and not to worry about my family. 

So in September or October 1938 I went over and attended the 
5-week Communist training school in San Francisco. The address 
of that school was 121 Haight Street, San Francisco. 

Mr. T.wENNER. That is the headquarters of the Communist Party? 

Afr. Kawano. It was the heack{uarters of the Communist Party 
at that time. 

Mr. Tavenner. At that time? 

Mr. Kawano. That is right. 

I staj^ed at Karl Yoneda's apartment on Grove Street in San 
Francisco, and walked daily from there to the school at Communist 
Party headquarters, located at that time at 121 Haight Street. 

My first day was consumed almost entirely by lectures. They 
issued scratch pads, notebooks, Communist pamphlets, and so on. 

Betty Gannett, chief instructor at that time, told me— not only 
me, but the group of students there — that the Communist Party did 
not expect us to learn all about communism in the short time we 
attended school, but she said that she expected us to learn how to 
study communism and how to put the Communist theory into prac- 
tice, especially in th<' labor uriions and other mass organizations. 

There were over 60 students present at that time, and they came 
from all over the countr}', but mainly from northern and southern 

Some of those whose names I recall are Bob Guske; Richard 
Lyndon, who is now one of the top officers of local 6, ILWU. 

Mr. Tavenner. How do you spell his last name? 

Mr. Kawano. L-y-n-d-o-n, And a boy by the name of Alasao 
from Los Angeles who came up with a fellow named Fujii, who was 
editor of Do-Ho; and also Allan Yates. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know Allan Yates' wife's name? 

Mr. Kawano. Yes. Her name was Oleta O'Connor, so Oleta 
O'Connor Yates is her correct name. 

Regubir instructors were Betty Gannett, Oleta O'Connor, and 
Louise Todd; and others who pitched in were Jules Carson, William 
Schneiderman, Walter Lambert, and others. 

When I reached Honolulu after the school was over, on January 1, 
1939, on the President ClereUind, the union had just lost a National 
Labor Relations Board election about a week or so before at McCabe, 
and the boys had already made up their minds to close the door of 
the union office and forget about the union. 

Mr. Tavenner. When you refer to McCabe, what do you mean? 

Mr. Kawano. McCabe, Hamilton & Renny Stevedore Co., Ltd., 
in Honolulu. 

Wlien a group of the boys boarded the ship as a reception committee 
for me, they so informed me, Ben Kahaawinui and William Kamaka 
were among those that greeted me. 

However, to my surprise I saw that there were more oeople there 
that night than the actual number which voted for the union in the 
election of a week or so before. 


I arranged for a meeting with them at the union hall, and meantime 
talked the matter over with Fred Ivamahoahoa, and urged him to 
cont inue organizing. Kamahoahoa told me that if I kept on organizing 
he would continue to assist me. 

So before the scheduled date of the meeting, I got hold of Piilani, 
Kamahoahoa, David Kamaka, John Elias, Joim Akiu, Samson 
Chang, Robert Naniole, and a few other active members of the union 
and lu-ged them to assist me hi organizing the water front. 

They agreed, and from that time on we started a more strenuous 
organizing campaign on the water front. Leaflets began to flow 
down the water front; pier-hand meetings began popping up along 
the water front daily; and personal contacts during the evenings by 
myself and to some extent assisted by William Halm began to bear 
fruit. The boys on the w^ater front began to believe that the union 
was O. K.. and that they wouldn't mind joining the union if the 
union had the majority of the workers in the union, and if it could 
protect them from discrimination in the event they were found by 
the bosses to be members of the union. 

We knew it was impossible to get the majority of them into the 
union, so instead of recruitmg them directly into the union, we 
combed the water front to get the following pledges: 

(1) I will authorize the union to represent me on all matters relating to wages, 
working conditions, etc. 

(2) I will vote for the union in the event of a NLRB election to determine the 
correct collective-bargainin.^ representative. 

(3) In the event the union wins the election, I will join the union, pay its dues 
and asse.ssments. attend its meetings, live up to its constitution and bylaws, and 
become a good union member. 

Our organizing efforts began to bear fruit. Longshoremen began 
signing pledge cards, more tlian they ever did up to this time. 

The employers noticed we were making headway, and they started 
out on a plan to crack dovvai on the workers. 

They decided to institute the 40-hour plan on the water front. 
They succeeded in getting some of the gangs to go for the plan, bub 
meanwhile we did everything we could to expose the plan. The 
employcu^s were unable to get all the gangs to accept the 40-hour plan. 
Many gangs opposed it. 

Finally the company decided to shove it down the throats of the 
longshoremen, and one day the company posted a notice on the 
company's bulletin board stating that whether the workers liked it 
or not, the company was putting the 40-hour plan into effect as of now. 

Meanwhile we kept on preaching on the water front that the 
40-hour plan was chiseling off the workers' wages from them. 

After a couple of weeks of work under the 40-hour plan, the boys 
found ^ye were right; then they started to sign up the union pledges 
more willingly, and it was not long after this that we started signing 
up the workers at McCabe also. Later that year we petitioned the 
National Labor Relations Board for an election that determined the 
ILWU as the exclusive collective-bargaining representative in Castle 
& Cooke; AfcCabe; and later also in Contractors' Pacific Naval Air 
Base; then later in American Stevedores, Ltd. 

All through these days I attended Communist Party meetings regu- 
larly until we were ordered to disband in 1941 after Pearl Harbor. 

Mr. Tavexner. Had you occupied any other position in the Com- 
munist Party prior to 1941 than that you have already described? 


Mr. Kawano. No, but I must say this much, that prior to 1941 there 
was no official membership in the executive board, but Kimoto, who 
was acting as liaison between the uptown and downtown groups, used 
to be chairman of a group that met once in a while, composed of in- 
dividuals selected by Kimoto, from either of these groups, uptown or 

Mr. Walter. May I ask when the NLRB election was held to 
which you referred? 

Mr. Kawano. That was held the latter part of 1939. 

Mr. Walter. 1939? 

Mr. Kawano. That is right, the one that was lost. 

Mr. Walter. I am talking about the one at which it was deter- 
mined the ILWU was exclusive bargaining agent. 

Mr. Kawano. 1941. 

Mr, Walter. How did Hall inuscle his way in the union then? 

Mr. Kawano. He was not in the union then. 

Mr. Walter. He was not? 

Mr. Kawano. No. He was out of the picture. 

Mr. Tavenner. I meant to ask you another question about the 
school in California. Were you the first member of the Communist 
Party from the Territory of Hawaii who attended that school? 

Mr. Kawano. 1 was made to understand I was the first one who at- 
tended that school from Hawaii. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know who else attended from Hawaii at a 
later time? 

Mr. Kawano. The following year, 1939, Ichiro Izuka and Jack Hall 
also attended a Communist Party school in California. They went 
from Honolulu. Robert McElrath also attended the school, from 
California, but by using Hawaii's credit. 

Mr. Velde. How about Freeman? 

Mr. Kawano. He was not in the picture at that time. 

Mr. Tavenner. If you will proceed, please. 

Mr. Kawano. Not very long after December 7, 1941, I attended a 
meeting. This is the one I am talking about, not a branch meeting, 
but a meeting called specially by the liaison man. Jack Kimoto. 

Mr. Tavenner. That is a meeting of Communist Party members? 

Mr. Kawano. Yes, a few from uptown, a few from downtown, 
selected by Kimoto. 

At this meeting we discussed an order from the Communist Party 
headquarters in San Francisco, brought by couriers Fitzgerald and 
Walter Stack, both members of the Marine Firemen, Oilers, and Water 
Tenders Union, to disband the Communist Party of Hawaii and dis- 
continue further activities of the Communist Party until further notice. 

Kimoto and Hall objected, and argued that there was no reason for 
the Communist Party in Hawaii to disband, especially when the 
Communist Party on the mainland would continue to operate. 

This meeting was attended by Kimoto, Hall, Reinecke, A. Q. Leong, 
Robert McElrath, Stack, Fitgzerald, and myself. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know Fitzgerald's first name? 

Mr. Kawano. I don't remember his first name. I know he made a 
name for himself when they had this organizing drive, I believe in 
1935, on the west coast, in Standard Oil tankers, and a few people got 
in jail for some kind of thing they had in Modesto. He was identified 
as a Modesto boy at that time. That is about all I knew about him. 


The t2:roup docidod to disbnncl as ordered, but they also made it clear 
that they disapi)r()ved of the order, and that they appealed their case 
to the national committee of the Communist Party in New York to 
have the San Fi-ancisco State headquarters order to disband revoked. 
But there was nothing: done by the national office in New York, so 
there were no official activities of the Communist Party in Hawaii 
duruig the war. 

However, occasionally the group used to meet, sometimes at Hall's 
place, sometimes at Reinecke's, sometimes at the Fujimotos', and 
sometimes at the Hyuns', and at the McElraths'. 

Mr. Moulder. May I interrupt at this point? Do you have any 
personal knowledge as to the reason they were requesting the Com- 
munist Party in Hawaii to disband at that particular time? 

Mr. Kawano. According to the information brought over by the 
couriers, their reason was that — you see, just a few months before that 
the Communist Party slogan was that the "Yanks were not coming" to 
this war, advocating that we fight the idea of sending soldiers to Europe 
to fight. But after Hitler moved into Russia in June of 1941, then they 
changed their tone. 

Anyhow, when this message was brought, they stated that because 
Hawaii was such an important outpost for defense they wanted us to 
cooperate so the Army and Navy would have no suspicion of com- 
munism in Hawaii. That is why they told us they didn't want us to 
do anything. 

Mr. Walter. We will have to take a recess to answer the c[uorum 
call. We will recess until 2 o'clock. 

(Thereupon, at 12.: 10 p. m., a recess was taken until 2 p. m. of the 
same day.) 


Mr. Walter. Proceed, Mr. Tavenner. 


Mr. Tavenner. You were asked a question about the reason for 
the Communist Party directive that the Communist Party of the 
Territory of Hawaii be disbanded. Was there a difi'erence of opinion 
among the leaders in Hawaii on that subject? 

Mr. Kaw.\no. There was. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you describe that to the committee? 

Mr. Kawano. Jack Kimoto and Jack Hall argued very stren- 
uously with these two couriers, and they took a position something 
■Jike this, that they didn't see any reason why the California State 
committee of the Communist Party should instruct the Hawaii Com- 
munist Party to disband, especially in view of the fact that all the 
other Communist Party groups on the mainland, including the Cal- 
ifornia State committee, was operating full blast without closing down. 

Mr. Tavenner. What argument, then, did the couriers use to 
combat the argument of Kimoto and Hall? 

Mr. Kawano. Well, they in the beginning stated that because 
Hawaii was a very important defense outpost, and because they 
didn't want an}^ Army or Navy or Government authorities to suspect 
that there was going to be any retarding or sabotaging of defense 
programs, they felt it was better for us to close down. But there was 


argument against it by Hall and Kimoto, and they finally ended up 
by saying after all it was a decision of the California State committee 
that the Hawaii party disband, and therefore they were just carrying 
out that order from the California State committee to Hawaii. 

In the end the group decided to go along with that order from 
California. In the meantime they thought they were going to appeal 
the case to New York. 

Mr. Walter. Did they appeal it to New York? 

Mr. Kawano. I do not recall, but at that meeting Kimoto and 
Hall definitely stated they were gomg to take steps to appeal that 
decision to New York and have it repealed by New York. I have not 
heard anything about the matter after that. 

Mr. Tavenner. You have stated -hat t* man by the name of Stack 
was one of the two couriers wiio brought this directive to Hawaii. 

Mr. Kawano. He was. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know his first name? 

Mr. Kawano. Walter. 

Mr. Tavenner. Can you tell the committee anvthing about Walter 
Stack? ^ 

Mr. Kawano. I don't know very much about him except when I 
was attending that 5-week training course in California he was an 
occasional visitor there, and from what I laiew he was at that time 
one of the officers of the firemen's union. He used to run for the 
position called patrolman on the water front for that union, and from 
what I recollect he had been running for that office as a Communist 
and getting elected year after year. 

Mr. Tavenner. How often do you think your group met to discuss 
this question of disbanding the Communist Party in Hawaii during 
the period of the war? 

Mr. Kawano. That was the only meeting I remember. After that 
I think Kimoto took it upon himself to notify the two groups that 
were existmg at that time about the order, and that is all that I 

Mr. Tavenner. W hen you were directed to disband were you given 
any orders as to what to do with Communist Party literature? 

Mr. Kawano. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. And records? 

Mr. Kawano. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was that? 

Mr. Kawano. The instructions were that we were to gather up all 
Communist Party material, everything we had relating to the Com- 
munist Party, and destroy it by either burning it or burying it. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was done about that? 

Mr. Kawano. Well, I think they decided to send instructions down 
the line to have everybody gather his material and burn it at home, 
and those people who lived in communities where it would be difficult 
for them to burn material, to gather the material and to have it picked 
up by John Remecke or Peter Hyun, and they would haul it to a place 
M^here nobody would know and bury it. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was that done? 

Mr. Kawano. Whether that was done, I don't know. I burned 
my material, so I didn't pass anything on to these people. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know whether this man Walter Stack ever 
attended a school in Russia? 


Mr. Kawano. No; I don't. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you state to the committee what the union 
activities were during the period of the war? 

Mr. Kawano. Before that I would like to interject just a little bit. 

During those days, after the party in Hawaii was ordered to disband 
and the party disbanded, there were no official Communist Party 
meetuigs, yet occasionally some of the people used to gather at some 
of the homes. 

It was one of these unofficial meetings at McElrath's place which 
prompted Kimoto, Izuka, and Alice Hyun to go to the former Hyun 
farm to dig up some Communist literature the Hyuns had buried 
when they were instructed to burn or destroy. The record shows that 
sometime early in 1945 they were caught digging Communist literature 
by agents of the FBI. 

Mr. Tavenner. And photographs of that were introduced in the 
coui-se of the hearings by the subcommittee in Hawaii? 

Mr. Kawano. They were. 

Late in 1943 I was informed by Bert Nakano that the workers in 
the plantations were desperately wanting a union, and that the few 
malihini — that means newcomers — AFL organizers operating on the 
big island were making some progress in organizing the plantation 
workers into the AFL, and that because they were splitting up the 
workers m various craft unions, and were not accepting into member- 
ship those that the employers considered agricultural workers, they 
were doing more harm than good for the workers in the plantations. 

Therefore, he urged me to come over to investigate the matter and 
see whether there was something we could do for the boys in the 

So, upon this invitation, I made a trip to the big island to check 
on the matter. Being a former big-island boy, also a plantation 
employee, I knew a few plantations and the people in the plantations. 

I visited with some of them, talked to them, and decided to organize 
the plantations. Since Hall had some experience in the McBricIe and 
MakawiH plantations on Kauai, I went over to see Hall for some 

Hall laughed at me, and told me that I was taking on the impossible. 
He said that if there was anyone in the Territory who could organize 
the plantations, it was he and nobody else, meaning Jack Hall and 
nobody else. And he said it was impossible to organize them^ 
especially at this time. 

I told him that I wasn't fooling, and that I was going to try it 
anyhow. It was then that he advised me to go and see Arthur 
Rutledge and try to work out a joint organizing committee. I asked 
him whether Arthur Rutledge could be trusted. Hall stated that he 
trusted Rutledge imphcitly. 

I next called a meeting of the executive board of the ILWU, and 
talked the members into approving the organizing drive in the planta- 
tions. They approved. Later we carried this program into the 
membership meeting and got approval to go ahead from them also. 

Then I made another trip to Hilo, this time with Rutledge. We 
went there mainly to set up a joint AFL-CIO organizing committee.. 
His bartenders' union and our longshore union were to put in the 
same amount of money in a joint AFL-CIO organizing fund to start 

86.378 — 51 — i)t. 4 4 


the ball rolling. However, wlien it came time to put up the money 
Rutledge reneged and pulled out of the deal. 

Meantime, he got into a fight with Jack Owens' gang, who were 
organizing the big island plantations separately, and so both Rutledge 
and Owens' boys found no time to organize in the plantations. We 
were forced to carry the burden by ourselves, and did the best we 

The job our longshore organizing committee was able to do is 
today a matter of record. Without our campaign in 1944 there might 
still not be any union in the sugar plantations of the Territory of 

Mr. Tavenner. The unions in the sugar plantations were organized 
separately from the ILWU? 

Mr. Kawano. They were not originally organized to become mem- 
bers of the ILWU. I might tell you a little story in connection with 
that. As I stated, I went to see Hall for some pointers in organizing 
the plantation workers, because in 1938-39 Hall and Berman and a 
few others, Ben Shear and so on, were able to organize a couple 
plantations, namely, McBride, and to some extent they had luck in 
organizing Makawili plantation. They were being organized into 
the United Canner}^, Agricultural, Textile, and Allied Workers of 
America, not at that time part of the CIO. 

In this new organizing drive I tried to get UCATAWA interested 
in sending an investigator to check on it and see if they were willing 
to spend some money, but UCATAWA never seemed to be interested 
and didn't seem to care. 

We tried to get the international officers of the ILWU interested, 
namely. Bridges and others, but they were never interested, and it was 
not until they got the definite news that we were signing thousands of 
plantation workers that they got interested. 

Mr. Tavenner. In other words, it was not until you had been 
successful in organizing the sugar plantations that Bridges took an 
interest in havmg the sugar plantation workers come into the ILWU? 

Mr. Kawano. That is correct. I might say that the original 
amount of money put in the organizmg drive was not too m.uch, but 
we were the only ones that put it in. It cost us approximately 
$8,000 to start the ball rolling. That came from the local long- 
shoremen alone. 

Mr. Tavenner. After you completed the organization of the sugar 
plantations, did you endeavor to get them m some union? 

Mr. Kawano. No; but just before we started this drive we tried 
to get the UCATAWA to become interested in organizing, but they 
were not. I might also state that when Rutledge and I went to the 
big island to investigate the possibilities of organizing, we had a 
gentlemen's agreement, or whatever you might call it, that any- 
thing that we organized on the waterfront and in the sugar planta- 
tions we would recommend them to join the CIO, whether ILWU or 
anything else; but that anythmg between the water front and the 
sugar plantations would be part of the AFL — it didn't make any 
difference to us if it was carpenters' union or anything else. That 
was the agreement between Rutledge and myself at first. But 
Rutledge reneged on the deal and didn't put up any money, and got 
into a fight with Jack Owens' gang, and we decided to do the organi- 
zational work by ourselves. 


Mr. Tavejtner. Give us a little more in detail the circumstances 
under which Bridircs made the decision finally to admit the sugar 
plantations to the ILWU. 

Mr. Kawano. This is what happened. We printed pledge cards. 
I think they were printed under the name of our local. We could 
not use the name of the international because up to that time the 
international was not interested. We printed thousands of pledge 
cards under the name of our local, inviting these people to become 
members of our local. 

We signed up thousands of plantation workers, and in that process 
we signed up a lot of other workers too, mcluding railroad employees. 

After we got them signed, I made a special call to San Francisco 
and talked to Bridges. We took up the case first of the Hawaiian 
Consolidated Railroad employees. We had about 150 signed up. I 
told Bridges that here we had a bunch of railroad workers signed up, 
that they were already part of this union as far as the records were 
concerned, but I asked whether he approved that these railroad 
workers be members of the ILWU or not; and I said the constitutions 
of the AFL and CIO had no room for these employees. 
, He said, ''Well, since you have, got them signed up, we will take 
take them into the ILWU." 

Then I said, "Will you take the sugar workers too in the ILWU?" 

He said, "Well, since you have warehouses in sugar plantations, we 
will take them also." 

Instead of these people signing up and becoming members of 
longshoremen locals, each plantation was given a special local num- 
ber and chartered by Bridges, : ^(i; . 

Mr. Tavenner. Were the pineapple workers organized in the 
same way? 

Mr. Kawano. Somewhat in the same way, but also in a different 
way. After we signed a lot of these people in the union, and after 
we turned over the operation to the international to administer the 
work of these many locals during 1944 when they engaged Jack HaU 
to be the administrator of the international's business in the islands, 
our organizing business was not too aggressive. It kind of slowed 

In the meantime. Hall and these other people were advocating 
that we organize the pineapple mdustry also. 

Since Rutledge and some of these other people saw the work done 
by us in the sugar plantations they thought they might as well try 
to do the same thing in the pineapple industry. 

From what I recoUect, the pineapple industry was organized 
originally by three forces. One was our group. I think we had the 
smallest group, 25 percent or so. Rutledge had 30 or 35 percent 
organized. Ajid McEkath had about 40 percent. He had the 
biggest number. 

So there were three unions organizing the pineapple industry, each 
claiming jurisdiction over the entire pineapple industry. 

Mr. Tavenner. And what were those unions? 

Mr. Kawano. The Drydock Workers Union, and AFL union. 
McElrath was the head of it. 

The bartenders' union, headed by Rutledge, and AFL union; and 
I think he also had a card in the teamsters union. 

And the ILWU. 


McElrath had the largest number between the three, but because 
it was necessary for us to have an election to determine the correct 
bargaining unit, we had a big powwow. First we had a powwow 
with McElrath. We tried to get him to relinquish his authority to 
organize the pineapple workers into the small drydock union. We 
didn't get anywhere at first. Finally, as a result of a lot of pressure 
from Communists, who said he was splitting up the labor movement, 
and so on, McElrath decided to switch the affiliation of his drydock 
union from AFL to CIO. After he switched to CIO there was no 
problem at all. 

Mr. Tavenner. The CIO would then outvote Rutledge and his 
group within the AFL? 

Mr. Kawano. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was McElrath known to you to be a member of 
the Communist Party at that time? 

Mr. Kawano. He was. 

Mr. Tavenner. And it was the Communist Party that brought 
McElrath 's union into the CIO? 

Mr. Kawano. That is correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. When were the sugar plantations organized, 
about what year? 

Mr. Kawano. We started an organizing drive in January 1944, 
and by the time Jack Hall took over around the middle of 1944, we 
had 60 or 70 percent of the sugar plantations completely organized, 
and we had organizing campaigns going on in all the rest of the 

Mr. Tavenner. When were the sugar plantations actually taken 
into the ILWU organization? 

Mr. Kawano. You mean the transfer? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. You have told us about the time Bridges 
decided to take over the sugar plantations. 

Mr. Kawano. That was around the middle of 1944, when they put 
Jack Hall on their payroll. 

Mr. Tavenner. Wlien did you complete the organization of the 
pineapple industry? 

Mr. Kawano. I think that took place about 2 years afterward, 
about 1946, a year and a half or so afterward. 

Mr. Tavenner. In addition to the Communist Party being instru- 
mental in bringing this section of the AFL into your union, what other 
activities was the Communist Party interested in in the labor field? 

Mr. Kawano. I don't know what you mean. 

Mr. Tavenner. We had evidence in our hearings relating to the 
labor canteen. 

Mr. Kawano. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. To what extent was the Communist Party inter- 
ested in the organization of the lal)or canteen? 

Mr. Kawano. I can't say that the Communist Party itself was 
interested,because we were directed to disband, and the labor canteen 
was formed after we disbanded. However, as I stated before, there 
were a few individuals, who were members of the Communist Party, 
getting together informally now and then. 

The idea of starting a labor canteen was introduced by Alice Hyun. 
This idea was picked up by Hall, Kimoto, McElrath, Reinecke, and 
others. Later this became an unofficial Communist program, to 


orp:anize the labor canteen. They also instructed the officers of the 
union, inchidino; myself, to (1) make sizable contributions to the labor 
canteen; (2) iret our union membership fully involved in the activities 
of the Honolulu labor canteen. 

Mr. Tavenner. Wlio was it instructed the officers of the union, 
includino; yourself, to do those things? 

Mr. Kawano. Kimoto and Hall. 

Mr. Tavenner. And what connection did they have with the 
Communist Party at the time it was disbanded? 

Mr. KAWA^o. At the time it was disbanded Kimoto was party 

Mr. Tavenner. And Jack Hall? 

Mr. Kawano. No official title. 

Mr. Tavenner. But Jack Hall was a member, was he not? 

Mr. Kawano. He was a member; that is right. When they in- 
structed me and other officers of the union to do those things, neither 
Kimoto nor Hall had any title because the party was disbanded; but 
before it was disbanded Kimoto was party organizer. Jack Hall was 
regional director of ILWU. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you tell the committee the circumstances 
under which the Communist Party was reactivated in the Territory 
of Hawaii? 

Mr. Kawano. Just before or right after VJ-day, Kimoto received 
a message from the Communist Party headquarters in San Francisco 
to reorganize and reactivate the Communist Party of Hawaii. 

The first of these reactivation meetings was held on the grass near 
the apron of Kawalo Basin. This is just about the same place we met 
w^hen we discussed the question of disbanding. 

Mr. Velde. Were you instructed by the couriers originally that 
this was to be a permanent disbandment? 

Mr. Kawano. No, just to disband operations of the Communist 
Party, don't pay dues or don't do anything until further notice. 

At this first ineetrng Jack Kimotoj Jack Hall, John Reinecke, and 
two or three others were present. After the whole gang agreed to 
comply with the order. Hall and Kimoto suggested that we go through 
the list of old memberships and call out from it those whom we thought 
were all right, and recruit them back into the Communist Party. 
They suggested also that since the union was bigger now and had 
a lot more members, we make a list of active members of the union 
and recruit as many of them as possible into the Communist Party. 

Hall and Kimoto suggested that we hold another meeting, this 
time with an enlarged committee. 

The second meeting was held a week or two later, with the following 
present: Jack Hall, Jack Kimoto, Charles and Eileen Fujimoto, John 
Reinecke, A. Q. A'IcElrath; Robert McElrath; Rachel Saiki, myself, 
and possibly two or three others. 

At this nieeting we decided to put on a big recruiting drive. Some 
of the possible recruits listed w^ere Harry Shigemitsu; Yoroku Fukuda; 
Ricardo Labez, otherwise known as Rick Labez — 

Mr. Tavenner. May I interrupt you at this point? Did these 
people subsequently become members of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Kawano. Incidentally, those I mentioned so far I understood 
were approached but none of them joined. 


Mr. Tavenner. I think you should state that as you give their 
names. If they did not come into the Communist Party, make it 
plain. ■ 

Mr. Kawano. Y. Morimoto from Kauai, Yasuki Arakaki from 
big island. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did those two come into the party? 

Mr. Kawano. They did. 
' Bert Nakano from big island, who also came in. 

Carl Fukumoto from big island came in. 

Castner Ogawa and Richard Shigemitsu, who were studying com- 
munism under Charles and Eileen Fujimoto, were already theoretical 

Major Okada came in. 

Joseph Kealalio came in. 

Levi Kealoha came in. 

And a flock of others. 

At that meeting we also discussed ways and means to approach 
these individuals whose names were hsted. 

We decided that Communist Party members should volunteer to 
talk to these individuals personally. This was considered best 
because then the person approached could not turn around and say, 
"This guy is a Communist and he recruited me." He could not 
prove it because it would be one man's opinion or word against 

We decided to assign able Communists to talk to some of these 
possible recruits personally. 

Mr. Tavenner. In selecting the method to approach these persons, 
such as the method by which it would be one man's word agamst 
other, was legal advice sought on that subject? 

Mr. Kawano. No. That was something that Jack Hall and 
Kimoto felt was a pretty good method. 

Another method of approach was to get the mailing addresses from 
the union records. Eileen Fujimoto was office secretary of the union, 
and it was felt to be a good idea to have her go tlu'ough the records 
of the union and get the names of possible recruits and send them 
Communist literature by mail. 

Also, after we sent these people Communist literature, to assign 
certain Communist Party members to stick around them and lay 
low for any comments, and report to the party organizer. 

Charles and Eileen Fujimoto were assigned, in the absence of a 
party organizer, to contact and recruit into the Communist Party all 
those who were reported to be ready for recruiting. 

As a result of this concentrated drive many old faces returned, and 
many new members were recruited into the party. It was during 
this time that I talked Joseph Kealalio into joining the Communist 
Party, and he joined. I talked to him m Ala-Moana Park near the 
beach. Joseph Kealalio is the one presently heading the longshoremen 
local in the islands. 

Just about this time or a little later, I remember attending another 
meeting, this time at the Puunui home of Ichiro Izuka. The topics 
discussed were: (1) reorganization of the structure of the Communist 
-Party units according to the constitution of the Communist Party, 
U.S.A.; (2) discussion of the Jacques Duclos article against Earl 
Browder and the Communist Party, U.S.A. 


This meeting was attended by Kimoto, Mr. and Mrs. Fujimoto, 
Mr. and Mrs. McElrath, Jack Hall, myself, Izuka, John Elias, John 
Reinecke, and there may have been a few others. 

At this meeting Kimoto stated he had complete faith in Earl 
Browder's judgment, and that he was a smart man and knew what 
he was doing, therefore we should not be too hasty in condemning 
him. but should lay low and see how the matter was settled nationally. 
Browder lost out. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you recall that back on the mainland the 
Communist Political Association was organized in May 1944 and 
continued until October 1945? Are you acquainted with that organ- 

Mr. Kawano. No. 

Mr. Tavenner. So far as you know, the Communist Political 
Association was not formed in the Territory of Hawaii? 

Mr. Kawano. No; it was not. 

Mr. Tavenner. But when you began reactivating, you began 
reactivating as the Communist Party? 

Mr. Kawano. That is right. 

Mr. Velde. Did you know that the Duclos letter was the Com- 
munist Party line in'the United States at that time? 

Mr. Kawano. No. The discussion ran this way: Duclos' letter 
criticized Browder's position. Duclos pointed out some of the pas- 
sages from the History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, 
which stated something about a dictatorship of the proletariat, and 
according to Browder's position at that time history has changed now 
and that idea is out of the window. 

Mr. Velde. What is puzzling me, some members at this meeting 
must have laiown they were to follow the Duclos party line? 

Mr. Kawano. No; they did not. 

Mr. Velde. Then it seems to me they would naturally follow the 
Browder line. 

Mr. Kawano. No. At that time there were people who thought 
that the Duclos letter was the correct party hne, and some thought 
Browder's position was the correct party line. 

Mr. Velde. This was before the American Com.m.unists, the main- 
land Communists, decided to follow the Duclos letter? 

Mr. Kawano. Yes. 

Later, when Jim, the party organizer, was sent to Hawaii 
from San Francisco, Charles and Eileen Fujimoto were assigned to 
work under the direction of Jim Freeman. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know when Jim Freeman was sent to the 
Territory of Hawaii? 

Mr. Kawano. Not exactly. I «tliink it was 1947. It may have 
been the latter part of 1946. I am pretty sure he was there in 1947. 

In various m.eetings of the Communist Party we found we ran into 
a lot of problem.s because we signed a lot of people in the Communist 
Party who had no idea what the Communist Party meant, and we 
needed som.ebody to educate them and to recruit new people into the 
part}^. We needed a good live- wire person to do that particular work 
for the party in Hawaii. We requested the party in San Francisco 
to send such a person, and the party sent Freeman. 

After Freeman's arrival the party stepped up its activities even 


Freeman organized the first Communist Party convention that was 
held in Kokokahi, Kailua, in 1946-47. No; I remember definitely 
that the first convention was held in 1946, and I do not believe Jim 
Freeman was there at that time. I remember it was 1946 because I 
was elected to serve on the executive board by this meeting in 1946. 
So that statement is not correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. When was the executive committee first estab- 

Mr. Kawano. Previously there had been a semblance of an execu- 
tive committee operating. Kimoto had been selecting a few from 
the uptown group and a few from the downtown group and meeting 
with them, but they had not been elected. It was not until after 
this convention in June or July 1946 that there were official members 
of the board. 

Mr. Tavenner. In other words, there were no persons elected to 
that position until 1946? 

Mr. Kawano. That is true. 

Mr. Tavenner. And you were elected in 1946? 

Mr. Kawano. Yes. As I recall I was elected in 1946 to serve in 
1946-47, and in 1947 I was voted out, and in 1948 I was voted in 
again to serve from 1948 to 1949. 

Jim Freeman organized various sliindigs, the purpose of wliicli was 
to sell Communist literature, to recruit new members, and to speed 
up party activities in fields other than strictly Communist activities, 
such as pushing subscriptions for the People's World; pushing sub- 
scriptions for the Honolulu Record; soliciting funds for the Reinecke 
hearings; and, a little later, encouraging membership in the HCLC. 

Mr. Tavenner. That is the Hawaii Civil Liberties Committee? 

Mr. Kawano. That is correct. 

Another activity was introducing certain uptown Communists to 
Communists in the ILWU, and so on. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you state at this time the names of all per- 
sons who served on the executive board with you? 

Mr. Kawano. In the first group there were Jack Hall, Jack Kimoto, 
John Reinecke, A. Q. McElrath, and myself. That was in 1946-47. 
I believe when John Reinecke and I were put off they put in Jack 
Hall, Charles and Eileen Fujimoto, Jim Freeman, Jack Kimoto, 
Joseph Palomino, and A. Q. McElrath. At first there were five, but 
later on they made it eight. 

Mr. Tavenner. What were the circumstances under which you 
and John Reinecke were put off the executive board? 

Mr. Kawano. John Reinecke was thought not to have the guts to 
represent the working people. I was thrown out because they claimed 
I was losing interest and did not read enough Communist literature 
to serve on an important board like that. 

After that one year was over, in the summer of 1948 they had an- 
other convention. This time I was informed by Jack Hall that I 
was elevated to serve on the executive board again. That was the 
1948-49 term. At that time Jack Hall said they criticized the 
previous executive board, composed of Freeman and other people, 
because they should have more union people serving on the Com- 
munist Party's executive board. 

From what I understand, at that time Jack Hall was again a mem- 
ber of the executive board; and I was a member of the executive 


board; John Reiiiocke was a member of the executive board; Charles 
and Eileen Fujimoto were members of the executive board; Jack 
Kimoto was a member; and Ariyoshi, editor of the Honoluki Record. 

Mr. Tavenner. What is the name of the man from the Honohdu 

Mr. Kawano. Koji Ariyoshi. 

Mr. Tavenner. What position did he hold? 

Mr. Kawaxo. Editor of the Honolulu Record. 

Air. Tavenner. And chief stockholder? 

Mr. Kawano. Yes. He used to attend the University of Hawaii. 
Wliile attendinj:!; the University of Hawaii he used to write occasion- 
ally for the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, and during the summer he used 
to work on the woter front. That is how T got acquainted with 
hiiu. He was not a Communist at that time. 

Later he joined the union, and after he joined the union I fixed 
it so that he would be able to work on the water front during the 
summer, and he attended a journalism school somewhere in Georgia. 
Then he came back to work on the water front in Frisco, and w^hile 
there the war broke out and he was hauled in to Camp Manzanar 
with the rest, including Carl Yoneda. He was one of those people 
that volunteered in the Ai"my and later was sent over to serve in 
China, and from what I imderstand he worked as a liaison officer 
between the United States Intelligence Service and the Chinese Com- 
munists. And also a well-known Japanese Communist in China at 
that time, named Tokuda. 

After the war was over he came to New York and tried to write a 
book in New York. By the time he came back to New York we 
received word he was already a Communist. We heard news he was 
a Communist, and he was a local boy, so we felt he would be a logical 
guy to head up a newspaper that the Communist Party was interested 
in formulating. That is liow we got him to come to Hawaii. 

Mr. Tavenner. You got him to come to Hawaii for this particular 

Mr. Kawaxo. Yes. 

Mr. Tavexner. "'We" means who? 

Mr. Kawaxo. Jack Hall, John Reinecke, Jack Kimoto, people like 

Mr. Tavexxer. In other words. Communists? 

Mr. Kawaxo. That is right. 

Mr. Tavexxer. Do you know who wrote him to come over? 

Mr. Kawano. I don't know who wi'ote the invitation for him to 
come over, but he had always been in constant touch with Dr. John 
Reinecke, so it was not a problem for somebody in this group to com- 
municate with him. 

Mr. Tavexxer. And as a result of the request he came to Hawaii? 

Mr. K.\WAXo. That is correct. 

Mr. Tavexxer. And you knew^ him as a member of the Communist 
Party from serving on the executive board with him? 

Mr. Kawaxo. That is correct. 

Mr. Tavexxer. Will you tell the committee more about the efl'orts 
of the Communist Party to advance its cause through publications 
such as the Honolulu Record? 

Mr. Kawaxo. Before going into that, I would like to go into the 
one started previous to that, called the Hawaii Star. 


Kimoto presented this idea, which was first discussed in the Com- 
munist Party executive board meetings. It took several meetings of 
the executive board before it finally decided to take the leading role 
in organizing the Hawaii Star. Hall, Freeman, McElrath, Reinecke, 
Palomino, and the rest made sure that the control of the paper would 
be in the hands of the Communists, so that the paper could be con- 
trolled by the Communist Party. 

It was organized in early 1947. Jack Kimoto was president, I was 
vice president, and a man named Aroshiro was treasurer. Jack 
Kimoto and I were the two from the Communist set-up, and Aroshiro — 
he was an alien — I don't know where he came from. 

Mr. Tavenner. You do not know whether he was a member of the 
Communist Party? 

Mr. Kawano. I don't think he was He never attended any 

The meeting that finally decided to get the Hawaii Star into opera- 
tion was held at one of the Quonset hut buildings near the school 
street entrance of the Kalihiuka Road. 

Those who were present at that initial meeting were Jack Kimoto; 
myself; this old man that I just talked about, Aroshio, and his son, 
Naeshiro; Yasuki Arakaki, a Communist; Charles and Eileen Fuji- 
mo to; Saburo Fiijisaki, Communist; Carl Fukumoto, Communist; 
Robert Kunimura, Communist; Y. Morimoto, Communist; Bert 
Nakano, I think at that time a Communist; Castner Ogawa; Jack 
Osakoda, he was not a Communist at that time; Major Okada, Com- 
munist; Jenji Omuro; Richard Shigemitsu; Shigeo Takemoto, I am 
not so sure; Thomas Yagi, Communist at that time. Most of these 
people that I named were hustled by myself to attend this meeting. 
After we met we found that we had the majority of the stock under 
our control, so we went ahead with the organization of the Hawaii 

At a meeting held one night at Kapiolani Paik, close to the band- 
stand, Kimoto leported the progress made at the meeting of the 
Hawaii Star, who its officers were, and so on. 

The board decided to give it full support. They instructed us to 
do all in our power to solicit ads and subscriptions for the Hawaii Star. 
They also instructed us to pass resolutions and motions in our union 
meetings, commending the birth of this really progressive newspaper, 
and wherever we could, to make sizable contributions to it. 

As a result, at one of the Territorial ILWU Council meetings — I 
happened to be chairman of that council — the Communist members 
pushed the above program, and this meeting ended by granting a 
printing press that was osvned by the Territorial ILWU Council to the 
Hawaii Star free of charge. This particular motion I believe was made 
by Robert Mookini, president of the pineapple union, a non-Com- 

Mr. Tavekner. How did you secure Robert Mookini, a non- 
Commmiist to sponsor that? 

Mr. Kawano. Wli^n Communists p-ot to":ether and talk about the 
Hawaii Star, they talk about how to make tiie paper as much as pos- 
sible communistic. But when we go in a union meeting we don't 
speak the same language. We speak strictly progressive. That is 
the basis on which we got Bob Alookini to make that motion. 


After a few months of operation, a lot of complaints were raised by 
some quarters of the ILWU membership regardhig the Hawaii Star. 
They felt that they were paying too much for too little, and tliat if we 
were to continue support of such a paper, its Japanese section should 
be discontinued, and it should be turned into an English-section, bi- 
weekly newspaper. 

So the Communist Party, through Kimoto, tried to negotiate with 
the alien Japanese stockholders to turn it into an English-section news- 
]ini)er, but instead met strong opposition by them, so that the Com- 
munist Party executive board, at one of its meetings, decided to in- 
struct its members to sell out their Hawaii Star stock and transfer it 
into the Honolulu Record. This meeting was held at Joe Palomino's 
house in 1948. 

Then came the Honolulu Record. The first issue of the Honolulu 
Record came out on August 8, 1948. Srmplo copies of the paper were 
printed about July 1948. This time, again, the party instructed its 
members to get the ILWU behind the Honolulu Record, and urge the 
imion to buy subscriptions and ads. Every cell of the Communist 
Party was instructed to designate someone to handle the ads and sub- 
scriptions in the union for both the People's World and the Honolulu 
Record. Since the McCabe and the Castle & Cooke were both water- 
front cells, we designated Richard Shigemitsu for this purpose. 

Koji Ariyoshi became the editor of this paper. He was assisted by 
Jack Kimoto and Charles Fujimoto. 

As they did with the Hawaii Star, the Honolulu Record got all the 
help from the ILWU through the Communists in it. However, it was 
a lot easier to hustle subscriptions and ads for this paper, because it 
was not concentrated for the alien Japanese and could be accepted by 
all who read the English language. 

Mr. Tavenner. What other activities did the Communist Party 
resort to? 

Mr. Kawano. Politics. Around 1946 Labor's Political Action 
Committee, sometimes called ILWU PAC, was organized. It was 
originated first in the executive board meetings of the Communist 
Party. It started out by involving CIO, AFL, and independent 
unions participating. They also allowed any individual who might 
want to participate in it an opportunity to do so. 

They set up a machinery to endorse candidates and campaign for 
them, and they set up legislative committees, organized and con- 
ducted rallies, and various other activities. In short, it was the 
beginning of an independent third-party movement in Hawaii. 

Mr. Tavenner. You state that the ILWU Px\C was originated 
first in the executive board meetings of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Kaw^ano. That is correct. 

Mr. Tavenner. I would like to know the names of the executive 
board members who took part in the formulation of that organization. 

Mr. Kawano. I think it was mainly Jack Hall, myself, Kimoto, 
Reinecke, and possibly McElrath. I am not so sure. Those were 
the ones that first discussed it. Then after they dicided to go ahead 
with it, they tried to involve all the unions, AFL and CIO, to start the 
ball rolling. Labor's PAC was not CIO PAC, because we tried to 
get CIO and AFL to join, and we called it Labor's PAC to start off, 
but it didn't remain that long because of conflict between Jack Hall 
and Rutiedge. 


In the election campaign of 1946 the PAC was able to use its influ- 
ence, and it helped to elect IS of the 30 members of the House of 
Representatives. They didn't make so good in the Senate and other 
races, however, because they were unable to maintain harmonious 
working relations, particularly between the AFL and the ILWU, and 
because there were many within the ILWU who preferred to play 
their own types of politics, they lost control of the situation. 

In 1947, in the organization of the Territorial house of representa- 
tives, the Republicans took over, and. only those Democrats who 
supported the Republicans were in on the pie, and the rest of the 
Democrats were left holding the bag. The influence of the PAC dis- 
appeared when the house was organized. 

I might explain here that when the PAC campaign went over to 
put in 18 of their candidates as against 12 not supported by PAC, 
that seems to be a big majority; but at that time PAC supported both 
Democrats and Republicans, so among the 18 w^ere some Democrats 
and some Republicans. 

Mr. Velde. Wliat was their technique in supporting candidates? 

Mr. Kawano. It depended on the deals the politicians could work 
out with the officers, myself included, and what kind of impression 
they would make when talking to the general membership. 

In the party set-up, there were 15 Democrats and 15 Republicans. 
So both parties called a party caucus to organize the house, and it was 
impossible for either of those parties to organize the house as they 
wanted, so some compromise was made by Republicans and Democrats. 

When the house was organized, committees were set up, and there 
was no place for the idea, so it went out the window. 

Mr. Tavenner. What idea went out the window? 

Mr. Kawano. The independent political action movement. 

Mr. Velde, did you ask me some of the methods used in helping 
those candidates? 

Mr. Velde. Yes, some of the general ideas. I imagine the candi- 
dates not supported were not allowed to speak at your meetings? 

Mr. Kawano. No; they were not. Those w^e supported, we passed 
cards out for them; we had election workers to campaign for them on 
election day around the booths; we had people going from door to door 
campaigning for them. 

Mr. Tavenner. You use the word "we." 

Mr. Kawano. The bulk of the job was done by PAC. A lot of the 
people who participated in PAC had no idea what influence the Com- 
munist Party had. 

Mr. Veld'e. Do you think the PAC had a great effect on the 

Mr. Kawano. Yes. When you play an independent role you are 
in a very good position to use your support as a balance of power. 
Let's say there is a race between this gentleman here and that woman 
there for an important office. Both are very popular and very strong. 
Mr.ybe she is able to puii half a million votes, and he might be able to 
pull about the same amount. In a case like that, the few votes we 
might have would mean the election or defeat of a candidate, de- 
pending on which one we supported. 

In 1948 there was a tremendous amount of discussion among Com- 
munists regarding the failure of PAC in Territorial politics, and in 
early 1948, at Jack Hafl's Manoa home, the executive board of the 


Communist Party called an enlarged committee meeting to discuss 
the question of politics. 

This is not a regular executive hoard nuH-ting. It is an enlarged 
executive hoard meeting, so there would he many people attending, 
and theie might (>ven I)e a few non-Communists attending. Party 
members felt pretty safe in having non-Communists come in, because 
the subj(>ct we were going to talk about was only on politics. 

After some discussion at thai nuH'ting, it was observed — 

(1) That the Democratic Part}- was very w^eak and could l)e in- 
fdt rated verj" easily. 

(2) Vvith enough infiltration, we could control the Democratic 
Party of Hawaii. 

(3) In the organization of the house of representatives in the 1947 
legislative session the PAC did not have any legal rights to call party 
caucuses and issue directives to elected candidates. 

(4) But we could do this if we controlled the Democratic Party of 

And so they decided that — 

(1) The Communist Party, through the ILWU and other organ- 
izations, will join the Democratic Party. 

(2) Take over leadership of it by getting the majority of convention 
delegates elected wdio were Communists, Communist sympathizers, 
or at least union men. 

(3) Elect majority of this type of people. 

Mr. Velde. I don't want to appear to be arguing with you or dis- 
cussing politics at great length, but I am wondering, since the Republi- 
cans were in powder, whether there was any discussion among members 
of the Communist Party of taking over the Republican Party? If 
they could do that, then they w'ould be more powerful. 

Mr. Kawano. ]\Iaybe you are correct, but this is the v/ay the Com- 
munists observed, that they had enough votes they could swing either 
way. Democratic or Republican, and looking at both, the Republicans 
were hard to infiltrate and the Democrats could very easily be infil- 
trated, so they felt that moving into the Democratic Party w^ould be 
a much easier job. 

Mr. Velde. There was no attempt to infiltrate in the Republican 

Mr. Kawano. No; not as a party decision. 

The enlarged executive board meeting in Jack Hall's Manoa home 
w^as timed when the general executive board of sugar, pineapple, mis- 
cellaneous, and longshore met in Honolulu. 

Of those who met at Jack Hall's home were Jack Hall, David 
Thompson, McEuen ^ 

Mr. Tavenner. What other position did McEuen have? 

Mr. Kawano. Codirectoi- of Labor's PAC. 

Mr. Tavenner. And what was his occupation? 

Mr. Kawano. His professional occupation was in a newspaper 
set-up. [Continuing:] Robert McEliath, radio announcer, ILWU 
program; Mr. and ^Irs. Chaiies Fujimoto; Myer C. Symonds, attorney 
for ILWL"; Robert Kunimura, from the island of Kauai; Y. Morimoto, 
from the island of Kauai; Tony Kunimura, brother of Robert; Peggy 

' This refers to Marshall I. MfEu'ii, whose testimony which was taken by a subcommittee of the Com- 
mittee on Un-American Activities in Honolulu, 'P. IT., (>n April 15, 1950, ai)i)ears in Hearings Regarding 
Coininunisi Activities in the Territorv of Hawaii— Part 2. pp. 1(171-1676. 


Uesugi, working for ILWU at that time; Yiikio Abe, secretary and 
treasurer of local 136 at that time; Joe Bliirr, wlio is now head of the 
longshoremen local in Hawaii; Fred Kamahoahoa; John Elias, Jr.; 
Taclashi Ogawa; Major Okada; Newton Miyagi; Edamatsu, I don't 
know his first name; Fujisaki; Arakaki, from Big Island; Thomas Yagi; 
Elias Domingo, from Big Island; Henry Epstein; Wilfred Oka — at that 
time he was not employed, but w^as working for the Democratic Party 
as secretary of the party. 

Eileen and Charles Fujimoto. I named them before. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was Wilfred Oka, then secretary of the Demo- 
cratic Party, a Communist at that time? 

Mr. Kawano. I made a mistake. He was secretary of the Oahu 
County committee of the Democratic Party, and he was a Communist 
at that time. 

Kimoto; Ariyoshi, Joe Palomino, member of the executive board; 
Jim Freeman; Ernest Arena, executive secretary, miscellanoous union; 
Eddie Hong; Ruth and Doris Ozaki; and a flock of others I cannot 
now remember. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you go back over the list, please, and state 
the names of those who were not members of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Kawano. Those who were not members? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. As I understand, this was not a meeting of 
the Communist Part}^? 

Mr. Kawano. Yes. This was a meeting of the Cormnunist Party. 

Mr. Tavenner. This was a meeting of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Kawano. Yes, but there could have been someone attending 
that meeting who did not suspect it to be a meeting of the Com- 
munist Party. 

Mr. Tavenner. Will you go back over the list and designate those 
who were not members of the Com.munist Party? 

Mr. Kawano. ^vfyer C. Symonds. I am not going to say he is a 
Communist, but at the same time I can't say he is not a Communist. 
I have no evidence to prove he is a Communist. 

Plenry Epstein. I have no evidence to prove he is a Communist, 
but I am not going to say he is not a Communist. 

They are all Communists with the exception of Myer C. Symonds 
and Henry Epstein. I am not so sure whether they are or not. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know the circumstances under which these 
two pei'sons, who are not known to you to be members of the Com- 
munist Party, were invited to this Commimist Party meeting? 

Mr. Kawano. They were invited, I believe, oy Jack Hail. 

Mr. Tavenner. Are you acquainted with Fcdrico Lorenzo? 

Mr. Kawano. I know him; not too well. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know whether or not he was present at 
this meeting? 

Mr. Kawano. I am not so sui-e. He might have been. 

Mr. Tavenner. I believe you stated there were a number of others 

Mr. Kawano. That is true. 

Mr. Tavenner. Whom you cannot now remember? 

Mr. Kawano. That is right. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you" recall whether Frank Silva was present? 

Mr. Kawano. I don't recall. I don't believe he was there. 


Mr. Tavenner. What was the nature of the business conducted at 
that meeting;? 

Mr. Kawaxo. 'iliey discussed ways and means of taking over the 
Democratic Party of Hawaii. One of the things discussed was that 
attention shouklbe given to taking over the leadership of the pre- 
cincts, and getting elected to the county committee and the Terri- 
torial central committee, and being elected delegates to the Demo- 
cratic convention. 

To make sure that this program, was carried out in the most effective 
manner, a political commission of the Communist Party of Hawaii 
was selected at one of the executive board meetings I di(l not attend. 
This political commission was com.posed of, Jack 
Hall, and m.vself ; and later changed to Jack Hall, myself, and Wilfred 

Tlie change between Oka and Freeman was because they felt that 
Wilfred Oka was m.uch closer to political problem.s than was Freeman, 
smce he was doing som.e of the organizing work in the Democratic 
Party, and was in a much better position to give more accurate reports 
on current pohtical problem.s than was Freeman, and would be in 
better position to m.ake decisions for the Com-munist Party. 

Mr. Tavexner. Wilfred Oka was secretary of the Oahu County 
Democratic Conmiittee at the time of the hearings of the subcommittee 
in Hawaii, was he not? 

Mr. Kawaxo. No. I think at that time he was already out. By 
the time the hearings came on, I tliink he was already out. Tliis 
fellow Danny Inouye took Oka's place. 

!Mr. Tavexner. Oka had been elected, however, to the convention 
of the preceding year? 

IVIr. IvAWANC'Tliat is right. 

Mr. Tavenner. But not reelected as secretary of the county 

Mr. Kawaxo. He was reelected as a county committee m.em.ber 
from, his precinct, but he did not get enough votes in the county 
committee to be reelected as secretary of the county committee. 

Through the m.achinery of the ILWU, m.aneuvered by Jack Hall, 
I was assigned to tour the islands to sell tliis program to members of 
the ILWU, particularly in places where the m.emJjership was opposed. 

The ILWU election propaganda for the 1948 elections proved that 
the union, \nth very slight exceptions, was solidly beliind this program. 

I believe that the influence of the Com.munist Party in the Demo- 
cratic Party of Hawaii is very strong, and if it were not for the few 
liberals in the Democratic Party who are strongly anti-Communist 
but at the same tim.e conmiand the respect of many laboring people 
and union members, and who are fighting CommiUnists in the Demo- 
cratic Party, the Dem.ocratic Party of Hawaii would be controlled 
by the Com.munist Party. 

These few liberals are having a tough time trying to ke?p the con- 
trol of the Democratic Party out of the hands of people who are 
inliuenced by Communists. 

As far as politics goes, although originally, to get the ball rolling, 
I went along with these peo])le. I m.entioned a few liberals; I joined 
these people and pulled enough strings to get Wilfred Oka rem.oved 
by putting up a better candidate and defeating him.. I believe that 


the split between Oka's group and myself was well known. This 
happened before the hearings in 1950. 

In a meeting at Kimoto's home, the party discussed the selection 
of delegates to the CMU — Committee for JNIaritime Unity — conven- 
tion. I believe this was in 1946, right after the war, when the mari- 
time unions, namely, the CIO maritime unions, including the National 
Maritime Union, Marine Cooks and Stewards, and 1 believe also 
Marine Firemeii, Oilers, and Water Tenders, got together and tried to 
work out a method of approaching the employers on the question of 
negotiations for their contract, and in Hawaii we M^ere supposed to 
send a delegate from Honolulu to this convention. A lot of people 
wanted to go to the convention, so when some of the people found 
out seven or eight Communists wanted to put their names on the 
ballot, Kinioto took it upon himself to call the Communists together 
and have the question of who would be the delegate from Honolulu 

This meeting was supposed to l)e a joint longshoremen meeting 
of the two groups. It was a Communist meeting. There were many 
who wanted to be delegates to the CMU convention, liowever, the 
group decided that (1) Hichard Shigemitsu be selected to go, (2) all 
other Communists withdraw from the race, and (3) all Communists 
campaign on the water front for the election of Richard Shigemitsu. 
Shigemitsu w^ent to the CMU convention. 

Those present at this meeting, to the best of my knowledge, were 
Jack Kimoto, James Freeman, Charles and ELV-^n Fi jimoto, Jo!in 
Reinecke, Koji Ariyoshi, Joe Palomino, Joseph Kealalio, Yukio Abe, 
Frederick Kamahoahoa, John Elias, Jr., Levi Kealoha, Jidian Na- 
puunoa, Ben Kahaawinui, myself, and maybe one or two others. 

Here I would like to identify some of the people who met in this 
group who were not longshoremen, but outsiders. 

Kimoto was an outsider. 

Mr. Tavenner. By "outsider" you mean a member of the Com- 
munist Party, but not a member of the union? 

Mr. Kaw AND. That is right. 

James Freeman was an outsider. 

Charles and Eileen Fujimoto were outsiders. 

John Reinecke was an outsider. 

Koji Ariyoshi was an outsider. 

Joe Palomino w^as an outsider. 

All the rest were members of the longshoremen's union. 

Another meeting was held at John Reinecke's Pahoa Avenue home 
in October or November 1946. Those present were Ichiro Izuka, 
John Reinecke, Jack Kimoto, Jack Hall, A. Q. McElrath, Charles 
and Eileen Fujimoto, and possibly Ralph Vossbrink. 

Mr. Tavenner. I believe this is the first time you have mentioned 
Ralph Vossbrink. Do you know Ralph Vossbrink to be a member of 
the Communist Party? 

Mr. Kawano. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Has he recently been a candidate for election to 
any office? 

Mr. Kawano. Oh, yes. In the 1947 election when I was dumped 
from the executive board I missed one name in naming the eight 
members. John Reinecke and I were put off the board, and Ralph 
Vossbrink was one of the guys who took oui- places. 


Mr. Tavenner. Do you know if Ralph Vossbriiik now holds any 
political oflico? 

Mr. Kawaxo. No; 1 don't. 

Mr. Veldk. What does he do at the present time? 

Mr. Kaw.\xo. He is now workiii*:- as a representative of some small 
miscellaneous unions. He is orgariizing taxi drivers and is represent- 
ing them. He has 300 or 400 ta.xi (hivers organized. 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know whether he holds any position in 
the Democratic organization? 

Mr. Kawaxo. Xo; he does not. Ralph Vossbrink, 1 think, was at 
Jack Hall's place when we talked about moving in and taking over 
the Democratic Party. If he was not a delegate to the Democratic 
convention, I remember definitely he was on the convention floor, 
and he walked out of the convention when the convention was about 
half over. He walked away just about the time Berman did. We 
gave Berman a hot time, so Berman walked out of the convention, 
and at the same time Vossbrink walked out of the convention. He 
told some people there that the Communist Party could have taken 
over the Democratic convention, but they didn't, so he was com- 
pletely dissatisfied with the results and he threw up his hands and 
walked out. 

At the meeting at John Reinecke's home in October or November 
1946, Izuka requested that the party change its stand from support- 
ing Joseph Farrington to William Borthwick for Delegate to Con- 
gress. That was between the primary and general election. Far- 
rington is a Republican, and in that election of 1946 a Democrat by 
the name of William Borthwick opposed him. In the primary we 
supported Joseph Farrington. Izuka was dissatisfied as a Com- 
munist, and asked us to switch from Farrington over to Borthwick. 

It was assumed that if Izidva was able to convince the majority of 
those present to decide to support Bill Borthwick instead of Farring- 
ton, then Hall, McElrath, and mvself were duty bound as Commu- 
nists to see that the L-PAC or ILWU-PAC reverse its position and 
supnoT't William Borthwick instead of Joseph Farrington in the race 
for Deleo:ate to Congress. Izuka did not succeed. 

Mr. Walter. How did Mr. Farrington get the endorsement of 
this Communist crowd? 

Mr. Kawaxo. It was not exactly a Communist crowd. You see, 
as far as Fariington and Borthwick were concerned, they don't know 
the maneuvering in the back of the labor unions. All they see is the 
front of the labor unions. Both Farrington and Borthwick put in a 
request to the unions to support them; and, judging the two of them, 
the union decided to support Farrington. ^^lien the imion decided 
to suppoT't Farrington some of the Communists got dissatisfied, but 
some of the Communists were in favor of Farrington at that time. I 
was in favor of Farrington, and so was Jack Hall, but Izuka's crowd 
was not satisfied. At this me(>ting Izuka handed in his resignation 
and walked out. 

Mr. Velde. Did the Communist Party itself ever attempt to run 
a candidate on the Communist Partv ticket? 

Mr. Kawaxo. There have been talks of that, but it has never been 
attempted, and I don't think it ever will be attempted. 

Mr. Velde.. For anv office at all? 


Mr. Kawano. No. But they have been talking about some 
courageous campaign on the west coast. 

Mr. Velde. I am just referring to Hawaii. I was wondering if the 
Communist Party of Hawaii realized they were not a pohtical organi- 

Mr. Kawano. Well, the closest we come to it is Harriet Bouslog. 
She was a Communist, but she didn't run as a Communist. I don't 
know whether the evidence I have is substantial enough for me to 
say she is a Communist, but later on I will make the record clear 
what I know about her activities. 

There was a combination educational and recruiting meeting held 
at Vossbrink's home on Pacific Heights Road in 1947 or 1948. Those 
present were Jack Hall, Ernest Arena, Edward Hong, Oshiro, Fuji- 
moto, Miyagi, Castner Ogawa, Major Okada, Edametsu, Yukio Abe, 
myself, Levi Kealoha, Joe Kealalio, Ralph Vossbrink, Charles and 
Eileen Fujimoto, Jack Kimoto, John Reinecke, Koji Ariyoshi, Jim 
Freeman, and a few others I cannot remember. 

After lectures by Kimoto, Freeman, and Fujimoto, the group 
decided (1) to concentrate recruiting among members of the sugar 
and pineapple unions, and (2) to concentrate recruiting particularly 
among Filipinos and Portuguese. 

They found that there were quite a few Japanese, quite a few 
Hawaiians, but very little Filipinos and very little Portuguese; and 
therefore we should concentrate our recruiting drive particularly 
among Filipinos and Portuguese, and particularly in the pineapple in- 
dustry. Another thing they put emphasis on was that we should 
try to recruit more women into the Communist Party. 

In 1948 — this was after they moved from the old hall — there was a 
meeting held to discuss the question of the Reinecke case, but no 
decision was made, and the same group continued the meeting later 
on at some other place. I remember a meeting at the Manoa home 
of Attorney Myer C. Symonds to discuss the strategy of the Reinecke 
case. He stated that if we wanted he would be willing to represent 
the Reineckes at the hearing, but that he felt it was going to be a very 
complicated case, and therefore he thought that we should try to get 
someone like Gladstein from San Francisco down to handle the case 
for the Reineckes. 

After some discussion, the group agreed to get Gladstein for the 

Those present at this meeting were Jack Hall, myself, Symonds, 
Joe Palomino, Mr. and Mrs. Fujimoto, John Reinecke, Ariyoshi, Jim 
Freeman, and Jack Kimoto. 

Air. Tavenner. Myer C. Symonds was present at this meeting? 

Mr. Kawano. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. It was at his home? 

Mr. Kawano. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. And he was employed as counsel, and that was 
the reason for his appearance? 

Mr. Kawano. I don't know if he was employed as coinisel at that 
time. He was counsel for ILWU. I think they tried to engage him 
for the Reinecke case, but there was some disagreement as to whether 
we should go ahead with the Reinecke case through the hearing or not 
participate in the hearing at all. He himself was not so sure as to 
whether he would like the case. He called these people together and 


told them at this mooting he woiihl be wilhng to serve and represent 
the Reiiieckes if we wauled him to. but he advised us it might be a 
better i(k'a if we engaged someone hke Ghidstein, who had more 
experience than he had. 

So after hstening to him we decided to have Richard Gladstein 
come down and take over the case for the Reineckes. 

Ah the peojik' present at this nuHMing were Communists with the 
exception of Alyer C. Symonds. I still don't know if he was a Com- 
munist or not, but the subject discussed here was not a Communist 

In 1948 there was considerable discussion about the party coming 
out in the open. 

Ever since Charles and Eileen Fujimoto came back after their 
leadership training in San Francisco, the Freemans and the Fujimotos 
have been agitating about having the Communist Party of Hawaii 
come out in the open. 

There Mere many who opposed that idea, but most of them were 
quiet about it because they knew that the program to come out in the 
open was supported by the San Francisco headquarters, and they did 
not want to be labeled by the superleftists as phonies. Therefore, 
over the objection of a few, they were able to get the executive board 
and all of the Communist Party units on record favoring the Com- 
munist Party of Hawaii eventually coming out in the open. 

Then the Fujimotos and the Freemans, assisted by Palomino, 
Kimoto, and Ariyoslii, pushed the party executive board to agree that 
the time for the Communist Party of Hawaii to come out in the open 
was now. 

They met opposition from Hall, McElrath, and myself. As a result 
of this sharp disagreement, and in order to pressure some of us into 
agreeing with them, the executive board held several meetings with 
specially invited guests. The following are some of the meetings in 
which I participated. 

There is one meeting I remember held at Foster Gardens, a small 
park. Present at this meeting were Jack Kimoto, Jim Freeman, 
Koji ^Vi'iyoshi, Mr. and Mrs. Fujimoto, Jack Hall, myself, Mr. and 
Mrs. McElrath, Harriet Bouslog, and J. L. Robertson. 

Mr. Tavenner. What was this meeting? 

Mr. Kawano. You see, there had been a lot of meetings up to this 
point where the members of the executive board did not agree unani- 
mously that the party should come out in the open now. 

Mr. Velde. Did Harriet Bouslog engage in the discussion as though 
she was a member of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Kawano. vShe did. 

Mr. Velde. Do you remember if she opposed the idea? 

Mr. Kawano. Hall, McElrath, and myself, together with Robert- 
son, opposed the idea of coming out in the open. The rest favored 
coming out, including Harriet Bouslog. The meeting lasted 4 or 5 
hours, but there was no meeting of minds. 

Mr. Tavenner. To what extent did Harriet Bouslog take part in 
the discussions about the matter? 

Mr. Kawano. The strongest arguments came from Freeman, the 
two Fujimotos, Palomino, and Ariyoslii; and Harriet Bouslog was in 
.there too, pitching in. 


Mr. Tavenner. Do vovi know the circumstances under which she 
attended the meeting? She was not a membei- of the executive board, 
was she? 

Mr. Kawano. No; she was not, and up to that point I did not know 
she was a Communist, although hstening to her talking led me to 
believe she might be a Communist, but this was a special meeting of 
the Communist Party. 

Week after week the Communist Party executive board met, and 
could not come to any unanimous decision, and so to help the members 
of the executive board convince the opposition one way or another, 
she was invited by the chairman, who happened to be at that time 
either Jim Freeman or Charles Fujimoto. So she attended at the 
invitation of the chairman. The same goes for J. R. Robertson. 

Mr. Tavenner. J. R. Robertson was a member of the Commimist 
Party, was he not? 

Mr. Kawano. 1 did not know until this meeting. I never saw him 
in any Communist Party meeting before this meeting. 

Mr. Velde. Was he a lawyer? 

Mr. Kawano. He is the first vice president of ILWU, the second 
man under Harry Bridges. 

Mr. Velde. Those two, Robertson and Bouslog, were the only two 
present at the Foster Gardens and PTansuma Bay meetings who were 
not members of the executive board of the Communist Party? 

Mr. KaW'Ano. That is right. 

Mr. Tavenner. And the only purpose of holding the meetings was 
to discuss a strictly Communist Party matter? 

Mr. Kawano. \H^iether the party should come out in the open or 

The meeting at Hansuma Bay was held 1 week after the one at 
Foster Gardens. Those present were Jack Kimoto, Jim Freeman, 
Ariyoshi, Palomino, Mr. and Mrs. Fujimoto, Jack Hall, myself, A. Q. 
AlcElrath, J. R. Rol)ertson, and Harriet Bouslog. 

At this meeting Robertson took the position that although he 
agreed that the Communist Party of Hawaii should come out in the 
open, the very fact that the executive board could not get out a 
unanimous decision on an important matter like this was proof 
enough to him that the Communist Party of Hawaii was not 3'^et ready 
to come out in the open, and therefore the board members should for- 
get about coming out in the open for the time being. 

That was the position taken by J. R. Robertson. 

Mr., Tavenner. That was a compromise position from the one he 
took at the first meeting? 

Mr. Kawano. Yes. The matter was not settled there. This 
Hansuma Bay meeting ended with no meeting of minds on both 

Mr. Velde. Will you explain what you meant, and what othei 
members of the executive board meant, by "coming out in the open"? 

Mr. Kawano. Well, as you know, in quite a few of the labor unions 
you see now and then guys recognized by the press and by members 
of the union as members of the Communist Party. Take San Fran- 
cisco, a guy by the name of Walter Stack, he was known as a Com- 
mimist. He campaigned for his position as patrolman for the fire- 
men's union as a Communist, and he used to get in office. 


Take a present west-coast party oi-ti:anizer, the guy who came over 
to llonohilu; I forget ]\is name now; he is also one. They take pride 
in heinii' i(U'ntilietl as Connnunists. 

In Hawaii there was nohocly identified as a Communist, particularly 
in the laboi- unions. So the move here was to get the Communist 
Thirty of Hawaii to come out in the open, but that was not for the 
party to expose all their membership. 

Mr. Vklde. Mr. Owens just mentioned you had no Communist 
Party headqiuirters as such in Hawaii. 

Mr. Kawaxo. That is correct. And the plan also was to select 
two or three people from labor unions to come out and be identified 
as Communists. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did they discuss at that time who the persons 
should be a ho should come out publicly as members of the Communist 

Mr. Kawaxo. I didn't get the question. 

Mr. Tavexner. Did they discuss at that time the names of those 
who should come out publicly as members of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Kawano. Some were discussed. For instance, Charles Fuji- 
moto's name was mentioned as one who should come out in the open; 
Jack Hall's name was mentioned; my name was mentioned; Richard 
Shigemitsu's name was mentioned; Levi Kealoha's name was mentioned; 
and a few others. 

The plan was to have at least one from each union and one from 
each island come out and be identified as a member of the Communist 
Party. When they select these people they are very careful to select 
somebody who has a deep-rooted strength, so that the membership 
won't take it too bad and dump him. 

There was another meeting I attended at the Makiki home of the 

Mr. Tavenner. Before you go to that meeting, did Harriet Bouslog 
take an active part in the meetings? 

Mr. Kawano. Tn the Foster Gardens and Hanauma Bay meetings 
she did, and her position was the same throughout, that we should 
come out in the open. 

Mr. Tavenner. Did she enter into a factual discussion of the 
matter, or did she just sit back and wait until she was asked for legal 

Mi-. Kawano. Oh, no, she entered into the discussion. One of the 
positions she took was that it was for the benefit of the union for 
the Communist Party to come out in the open, because when things 
are not known, all the attacks are taken by the ILWU, but if the 
Communist Party comes out in the open, the present attacks on 
ILWl^ could be diverted to the Communist Party members or to the 
Communist Party instead of the ILWU, so that it would be better 
for the ILWU and also better for the Communist Party. 

I was ordered one dav during my working hours to go to the 
Fujimoto home in Makiki to give an interview to one Archie Brown, 
a California Communist. He is an open Communist member of 
ILWU at San Francisco. 

I went and met him there. Charlie and Eileen were home. When 
I went in, the three of them, Charlie, Eileen, and Brown, huddled 
in a closed room for about 10 minutes; then Charlie and Eileen walked 
out and asked me to go in. 


Brown didn't pull any punches. He started right out and wanted 
to know why we were opposed to the Communist Party of Hawaii 
coming out in the open. He said the fact the Communist Party was 
not in the open was forcing the ILWU into a very diihcult defensive 

He said that the position I was taking on the executive board was 
phony, and that he didn't think much of those who took the same 
position. He said he had talked to many people since he had come 
there, and that all of them were good dependable Communists, but 
he found that only a few handfuls of us were retarding the progress 
of the Communist movement in the Territory. 

He said that there was going to be an enlarged board meeting, a 
semi-Communist Party convention, very shortly to decide this matter 
once and for all, and he asked me to promise that I would live up to 
the decision made by the majority of those that met. 

I told him I would think it over, and I walked out of that meeting. 

Then comes the enlarged executive board meeting referred to. 
The meeting was held at Ewa Beach. It was, in fact, a special 
convention to decide the question of the Communist Party of Hawaii 
coming out in the open. 

Those present were Wilfred Oka, Castner Ogawa, Major Okada, 
Mr. and Mrs. McEirath, Jack Hall, Dave Thompson, John Eeinecke, 
Koji Ariyoshi, Joe Palomino, Ben Kahaawinui, Yukio Abe, Newton 
Miyagi, Edametsu, Rachel Saiki, Yasuki Arakaki, Thomas Yagi, 
Omuro, Robert Kunimura, Ralph Vossbrink, Joseph. Kealalio, Levi 
Kealoha, Wallace Kamihara, Julian Napuunoa, and several others 
I do not remember. 

This group voted that the party come out in the open. But here, 
again, in the selection of the date there was sharp conflict. It ended 
up by McEirath and Archie Brown calling each other names which 
eventually developed in the ousting of McEirath by his own cell. At a 
later date the board expelled McEirath. 

Mr. Tavenner. Can you fix the date of that meeting? 

Mr. Kawano. This was around July 1948. The exact date I 
cannot say. It was on a Sunday around July 1948. 

Mr. Tavenner. Can you state whether or not the pereons whom 
vou named as being present were all members of the Communist 

Mr. Kawano. All members of the Communist Party. 

There was another meeting in Santa Maria Hall in San Francisco. 
The Santa Maria Hall is a second-story meeting hall in the ILWU 
building. It was not too long after the Ewa Beach meeting in October 
that I attended another meeting for the purpose of discussing the 
subject of coming out in the op'en. Those present at this meeting 
were Miss Celeste Strack, Archie Brown, Louis Goldblatt, J. R. 
Robertson, and myself. 

I argued against coming out in the open again at this meeting; 
and at the end of the meeting Brown and Strack, who represented the 
Communist Party California State Committee, told me that if I was 
able to convince the m.ajority of the Communist Party executive 
board members in Honolulu, and particularly the Freemans and the 
Fujimotos, they had no objections. 

When I returned to Hawaii I talked to Charles and Eileen Fujimoto, 
Ariyoshi, and Freeman separate!}^; and when I found it was useless I 
told them I was going to quit. 


Mr. Tavenner. "What do you mean, that you were going to quit? 

Mr. Kawano. That I was not going to participate in any more 
Communist Party activities. 

The next meeting 1 attended 

Mr. Tavenner. Just a moment. Tell us what you know about 
Louis Goldblatt. 

Mr. Kawano. He is secretary-treasurer of the International Long- 
shoremen's and Warehousemen's Union. I have no knowledge as 
to whether he is a member of the Communist Party or not, but he 
Avas the guy who arranged for the meeting in vSanta Maria Hall. 
He called" Celeste Strsick and Archie Brown and J. R. Robertson to 
the meeting, and the subject under discussion was still the cjuestion 
of coming out in the open. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was this meeting called at your request? 

Mr. Kawano. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. And what was your purpose in calling the meeting? 

Mr. Kawano. My idea was to convince Goldblatt and Robertson 
so that they would assist me in arguing against Strack and Brown, 
and beat them. What happened, the meeting ended by their saying 
that if I was able to convince the majority of the Communist Party 
executive board members in Honolulu they would go along. 

In 1949 I remember attending a meeting at Jack Kimoto's home. 
This meeting took place in the latter part of 1948 or very early in 

I think it was Jim Freeman who read a letter from the Communist 
Party headquarters in San Francisco. That letter explained that the 
officers of the ILWU were having a bad time from the ACTU gang — 
American Catholic Trade Union — and that if we did not watch out 
the ACTU might be able to capture the coming ILWU convention 
that was coming up in April 1949; and that if this happened, the 
control and influence that the Communist Party had over the ILWU 
would be broken. That letter urged us to do all we could to stack 
the convention with (1) delegates who were Communists from Hawaii, 
(2) delegates who could be controlled by Communists. 

At this meeting the group decided to follow instructions. Tliey 
campaigned for Communists, and a lot of them got elected. How- 
ever, there were a lot of non-Communists elected also. So at the 
caucus before the convention in San Francisco the Hawaiian dele- 
gates met and decided to select Jack Hall and myself to be cochaumen 
of the Hawaiian delegates, making it impossible for the delegates to 
vote on matters as they personally saw fit. This trick was decided on* 
at a meeting between Hall, Fujimoto, and Freeman. 

Those who were present at this meeting were Charles and Eileen 
Fujimoto, Jim Freeman, Koji Ariyoshi, Jack Kimoto, John Reinecke, 
Castner Ogawa, Newton Miyagi, Edamatsu, Joseph Kealalio, Yukio 
Abe, Joe Palomino, Julian Napuunoa, myself, Wallace Kamikara, 
John Elias, Jr., and Levi Kealoha. 

The next meeting was around the middle of 1949. It anticipated 
the sugar strike and was held at Kimoto's home. Those present were 
Mr. and Mrs. Fujimoto, Jim Freeman, Koji Ariyoshi, Jack Kimoto, 
John Reinecke, Thomas Yagi, Kunimura, Castner Ogawa, Major 
Okada, Newton Miyagi, Edamatsu, Joseph Kealalio, Levi Kealoha, 
Wallace Kamikara, Yukio Abe, Julian Napuunoa, niA^self, and maybe 
one or two others I do not remember. 


When I went to the meeting it was late, and the group had ah-eady 
made its decision to strike in sugar. Charles Fujimoto, who acted as 
chairman at that meeting, started to explain the decision to me. He 

(1) The longshore strike has put the Big Five in a bad financial 
condition — Big Five, meaning American Factors, Ltd.: Castle & 
Cooke, Ltd.; Alexander & Baldwin; C. Brewer & Co.; and Theo 
H. Davies & Co. 

(2) Therefore the time is ripe for a major strike in the sugar 

(3) Balloting in sugar plantations proved favorable, and the 
workers in the sugar industry are ready for a strike. 

(4) A joint longshore-sugar strike now is the proper Communist 

(5) The Communists, who are members of the sugar executive 
board, are instructed to vote and put their local on record for a strike 
and clear the deck for a strike, which should not take more than 
1 week. 

Then he asked me if there was anything I wanted to say. 
I told him their plan was "haywire" and all "wet." I said that their 
plan, if followed, would not help but would break the union. I said: 

(1) The morale of the longshoremen on strike was being kept up 
mainly because they were getting substantial financial assistance from 
the sugar workers. 

(2) The boys in sugar were willmg to offer financial aid to the 
longshore strikers, but were unwilling to go out on strike at this time. 

(3) A strike in sugar will end up with no union, because I knew in 
many plantations more than one-half of the employees would continue 
working and would not come out on strike. 

(4) A strike in sugar would not only break the sugar union, but 
would break the current longshore strike. 

There was heated argument between myself and some of those that 
were present. However, in the end, just to satisfy me outwardly, 
they put the vote. I was the only one voting against the sugar strike. 
All the rest voted for it. 

Among the sugar workers I agitated against a strike, and the strike 
did not materialize. 

This meeting of June 1949 was the last meeting of the Communist 
Party of Hawaii that I attended. 

Mr. Tavenner. You began to tell us about the ILWU convention 
•-of 1949, and discussed that at some length. Was that a meeting of 
the ILWU as distinguished from a Communist meeting? 

Mr. Kawano. You mean about the ACTU? 

Mr. Tavenner. Yes. 

Mr. Kawano. Wei], what I was talking about there was about a 
meeting of an enlarged committee of the board of the Communist 

Mr. Tavenner. Of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Kawano. Yes. It was either Jim Freeman or Jack Kimoto or 
maybe Charles Fujimoto who got instructions from San Francisco 
informing them that the ACTU was gaining power on the west coast 
and that the Communist officers would be removed if nothing was 
done by us from the islands. So they instructed us to stack the con- 


vention with delegates who were Coinmimists or who could be con- 
trolled by Coiiiinuiiists. 

Mr. Tavenxer. You stated that the meetmo; of June 1949 was the 
last meeting of the Communist Party of Hawaii that you attended. 

Mr. Kawano. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenxer. Did that represent an absolute break between 
you and the Communist Party? 

Mr. Kawano. That is true. 

Mr. Tavenner. Wlio were the leading or most responsible leaders 
in the Communist Party in Hawaii after it was reactivated in 1946? 

Mr. Kawaxo. The most responsible ones, I guess, were Kimoto; 
Jack Hall, myself, and maybe the two Fujimotos. 

Mr. Tavenxer. To what extent did Hall, Freeman, yourself, and 
Kimoto use influence in directing the afi'airs of the union during the 
period of the H^WU strike, the longshoremen's strike? 

Mr. Kawano. During the beginning of that period I am not in 
position to sa\^, because I was assigned as a lobbyist in the Territorial 
legislature, and therefore I was not serving as an official member of 
the strike committee. 

Mr. Walter. AMio assigned you as a lobbyist? 

Mr. Kawaxo. The four locals of nj"V^"L^, together with the regional 
du'ector. All the maneuvering and plans that took place, and all the 
strategy that was planned, I was not in on those things, because I was 
in the Territorial legislature until the last day of the legislature. I 
came back to the strike headciuarters on the second day of the strike, 
and from that time on I participated. 

Mr. Tavenx'er. To what extent were Communist Party members 
who were not members of the ILWU taking part in the strike? 

Mr. Kawax'o. All I can say is what took place during the strike, 
because before the strike I am not in position to say. During th* 
strike the women's committee, headed by Pearl Freeman and Eileen 

Air. Tavenxer. Women's committee of what? 

Mr. Kawano. Of the Communist set-up. They took an active 
part. Eileen Fujimoto and Pearl Freeman tried to organize a women's 
auxiliarv, and tliev maneuvered to get Pearl Freeman and Eileen 
rujimoto to become ex officio members of the women's committee. 
Their main interest was to get the women interested in reading Com- 
munist literature and to get a good chance to recruit during the strike. 

Mr. Tavenner. Were there occasions of disagreement among the 
leaders in the Comm.unist Party with reference to union matters 
which had to be settled by any higher level? 

Mr. Kawano. Before I answer that question I would like to answer 
a previous question. That is this: I said I felt the longshore strike 
was being conducted properly and so they had nothing to add. That 
is true to that point, but when they tried to get the sugar people 
together and they put the sugar union on strike along with the long- 
shoremen's union, that was to prolong the longshoremen's strike 
also, I guess, and that was the object of the meeting held at Kimoto's 

Mr. Tavenner. Do you know how disagreements between. Hall and 
anv of his associates in the Communist Partv were settled or to be 


Mr. Kawano. Well, all I can say here is what I learned from Hall, 
At one time near the end of 1948 or very early in 1949, Jack Hall was 
in such a jjosition that he wanted to quit his job as regional director. 
The reason for that was that there was quite a bit of pressure being put 
on him by the Comm.unists. Some of those Communists were mem- 
bers of unions, but a great many of the Communists were outsiders 
who did not belong to the unions but held very high positions in the 
Communist Party of Hawaii. 

So he told me that he went to San Francisco with the idea of having 
a show-down, because Robertson, first vice president of ILWU, he 
said, listened to the other group more than he did to Jack Hall. And 
so he went to San Francisco and had a talk with the thi'ee leaders. 
Bridges, Goldblatt, and Robertson; and who else outside of that met 
with them, I don't know, but he said he had a good working arrange- 
ment worked out. 

He said the plan was that he had the right to disagree with the 
local Communist Party, that he was an employee of the international, 
and any time orders from the international office did not coincide with 
directives of the Communist Party of Hawaii, he did not have to 
follow the wishes of the Coro.munist Party of Hawaii but had to follow 
the directives of the international office in San Francisco. 

Then he said that whenever such a problem occurred he would 
reject accepting the recommendation of the Communist Party of 
Hawaii and have that problem thrown into the hands of the inter- 
national office of ILWU and the State Communist Party headquarters 
to settle, and if they settled amicably he would follow the decision; 
if it could not be settled amicably, then it would be tlirown into the 
national headquarters of the Communist Party in New York, and 
whatever was decided would be accepted by the State headquarters 
in California and the international office in San Francisco. 

Air. Tavenner. The final appeal, then, was to the Communist 
Party headquarters in New York? 

Air. Kawano. That is correct. 

Air. Tavenner. And it was not a question of the national head- 
quarters of the Communist Party agreeing with the international 
office of the union, but w^as pm-ely the decision of the Communist 
national headquarters? 

Air. Kawano. That is right. It is predetermination, I guess, on 
the part of the international office of the union and the State head- 
quarters of the Communist Party to accept whatever decision might 
come out of the national headquarters of the Communist Party in 
New York. 

Air. Tavenner. Are you acquainted with William H. Glazier? 

Air. Kawano. Yes; I have known him. 

Air. Tavenner. What position did he hold; do you know? 

Air. Kawano. He is supposed to be the legislative representative of 
the ILWU whose office is stationed somewhere in Washington, D. C. 

Air. Tavenner. Has your association with him been such that you 
could state whether or not he is a member of the Communist Party? 

Mr. Kawano. No; I cannot. 

Mr. Tavenner. You mentioned in the course of your testimony 
Mr. Rutledge. 

Mr. Kawano. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Air. Arthur Rutledge? 


Mr. Kawano. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. Was he known to you to be a member of the 
Communist Party? 

Mr. Kaavaxo. Never. 

Mr. Tavenner. You have also mentioned Airs. Pearl Freeman. 

Mr. Kawano. Yes. 

Mr. Tavenner. I believe you indicated that you thought she was 
more powerful, possibly, than her husband, Jim Freeman? 

Mr. Kawano. I did. 

Mr. Tavenner. Tell the committee what you base your judgment 

Mr. Kawano. I have had an opportunity to talk to her and to judge 
her personal reaction to making snap decisions on questions and the 
amount of things that she knew about communism. Also, I found out 
that she had been for a long time an active organizer for the Com- 
munist Party in Oakland, Calif., and it seems to me, from talking to 
her, that she gives me an idea that she would be a higher-caliber 
Communist than Jim Freeman himself. 

And sometime ago when 1 talked to Archie Brown regarding Jim 
Freeman and his judgment, Archie Browoi told me that as far as the 
Freemans were concerned he had no question about their judgment, 
that they are really good Communists, and particularly Pearl Freeman. 

Mr. Tavenner. \'Miat do you consider to be the position of the 
Communist Party in Hawaii today? What influence does it wield 
and what activities does it engage in? 

Mr. Kawano. Well, this might surprise you, but from my personal 
judgment I feel that the Communist Party of Hawaii today is just as 
influential as it was 6 months ago or a year ago, and I think it is even 
more influential, because the influence of the Communist Party is 
gro^^-ing. I can cite some examples, for instance. 

(Representative Clyde Doyle entered hearing room.) 

Mr. Kawano (continuing). In the beginning the Communist 
PartA^'s influence was practically nil. Today the influence goes 
pretty deep into the membership of the ILWU. The influence prac- 
tically covers HCLC. I don't say all their members rre Communists, 
but more than half of the membership of HCLC are Communists. 
With the few people planted in the unions, and a combination of 
those not in the unions, they played a ver}^ important part m the 
Democratic Party machinery in the islands. 

For instance, right now in the Democratic Party there are two 
known factions. One is called the walk-out faction, and the other 
is called the stand-pat faction. The walk-out faction is the group 
that walked out of the last convention; and the stand-pat faction is 
the group that stayed and participated in the Democratic Party 

But that is only on the surface. Down below, within the stand-pat 
group, there are maybe 3 to 5 percent of the delegates in the stand-pat 
group that are Communists, but about 30 to 40 percent of the dele- 
gates are members of the ILWU, and, if not Communists, are very 
easily influenced by Communists. 

There is a big struggle going on. The stand-pat group has pro- 
labor people, sympathetic to labor but strong anti-Communists. 
There is a struggle between those people and some people who have 


no principles and are willing to play all sides against the middle, and 
permit themselves to be helped by Communists. 

Mr. Walter. Who heads the stand-pat group? 

Mr. Kawano. Lau Ah Chew. Lau Ah Chew is the man that 
operates on the basis that he doesn't care what he says or doesn't 
care too much about the program or policy or ideals of the Democratic 
Party. All he is interested in is to be able to get a certain amount 
of followers behind him. He felt it was a good deal for him, becauue 
all he has to do is to say what certain individuals tell him to say at 
the time they want him to say it. 

Mr. Walter. Is he a Communist? 

Mr. Kawano. He is not a Communist, but he allows himself to be 
led by the nose by Communists or people led by Communists. 

The chairman of the stand-pat group today, we don't have. The 
group that Lau Ah Chew represents have made a switch. Lau Ah 
Chew was not able to get other liberal Democrats to line up, so the 
Communists swung their support behind somebody else, and the man 
they are banking on to do their bidding is Vincent Esposito. 

fisposito has been very closely associated with Harriet Bouslog. 
He has never, to my knowledge, been a mem.ber of the Communist 
Party, but he is a very close associate of Harriet Bouslog. 

At the last meeting of the Democratic Central Committee, the 
struggle for chairmanship was between Vincent Esposito and Mitsuy- 
uki Kido, Esposito being supported by Lau Ah Chew and Mitsuyuki 
Kido being supported by liberal Democrats. The meeting ended up 
by no decision. Mitsuyuki Kido's group had n^ore people present, 
but Lau Ah Chew and Esposito 's group had m.ore votes counting the 
proxies. Mitsuyuki Kido's group put up a challenge because the 
other group tried to use the proxies of Thom,as Yagi, Kameo Ichimura, 
and Bob IVlurasaki; and they were challenged on the basis they were 
Communists and they were not entitled to have their proxies used. 
The Democratic Party, as it stands today, does not have any official 
chairman. It just goes to show the Communists don't have strength 
enough to run the Dem.ocratic Party, but they have strength enough 
to put a snag in the activities of the Democratic Party. 

Mr. Tavenner. Is it your view that despite the disclosure of many 
persons as members of tlie Communist Party by this committee, that 
the Comjnunist Party today is wielding as much or more influence 
in Hawaii as it was before? 

Mr. Kawano. I would say their influence is still picking up. For 
instance, in the Democratic Party if those people hatl not walked 
out — I am talking about those that walked out in the convention — if 
they had stayed back we would be able to weed out the Communists 
and forget about them. But that is not the case. So the fighting 
nucleus within the Democratic Party is so small we are having a 
pretty tough time. 

Furthermore, as far as the influence of the two lawyers, Harriet 
Bouslog and Alyer C. Symonds, is concernetl, they have made quite 
a reputation for themselves in the islands. There are a lot of inde- 
pendent people outside of the labor movement today looking up to. 
them as good lawyers. I have heard a lot of rumors among outsid- 
ers — because today I am one of the outsiders — and the talk among 
outsiders today is that if you have a case and you cannot afford to 
lose the case, then the lawyer to get is either Bouslog or Symonds, 


because tliey work for a cheap fee, and work like the dickens, and 
usually win the case. 

Mr. Walter. Of course a contribution to that was made by the 
judge who leaned backwards to reach a decision that in many cases 
was erroneous. I agree that in some of the citations for contempt 
the witnesses should have been acquitted, but in many other cases 
there was absolutely no justification for the decision reached. 

Mr. Kawaxo. Another thing. A lot of people who are not Re- 
pul)lican and not Democratic, but to some extent used to have per- 
sonal friends, some had Republican friends and some Democratic 
friends, and whenever they had problems thoy used to run up to 
Republicans or to Democrats, today they are running to Bouslog 
and Symonds. Those people are not the most influential people in 
town, but they are influential and a lot of people are following them. 

Mr. Tavenn'er. To what extent is the Communist Partv today 
influencing the programs of the workers and the like? 

Mr. Kawano. I cannot say because I am not a member of the 
Communist Party today, but if the Communist Party is operating 
today as it was operating when I left the partv in June 1949 I would 
say its influence is just as strong if not stronger. 

Mr. Doyle. You have just made the statement that the influence 
of the CoTninunist Party in Hawaii is as strong if not stronger today. 

Mr. K.\WANO. That is true. 

Mr. Doyle. Wliat is the reason for their increase in strength, in 
your judgment? 

Mr. Kawano. Well, in the first place, they have the ILWU tied 
up. They make policies and important decisions for the ILWU. 
There is no question about that. They go so far as to line up can- 
didates and campaign for those guys for office. They determine who 
is going to run as head of this local or head of that local. They even 
determine things like that. So they practically run the ILWU, not 
directly, but they run it. So when it comes to election time they will 
get ILWU backing. 

They also get the backing of the HCLC. HCLC is not entirely a 
Communist organization. A lot of people don't carry Communist 
cards, but whatever decision is made by the HCLC, these people go 
out and follow through. In other words, some time ago when the 
HCLC decided to put its support back of the Reinecke case, it was 
not only the Communist members in HCLC that solicited funds for 
the Reinecke case, but members who were not Communists also 
solicited funds for the Reinecke case. Some of these people have a 
good deal of mone}', and it doesn't harm them to put out $100 or $50 

The taxi driv^ers organized by Ralph Vossbrink — there are about 
300 or 350 organized — and Ralph being a Communist, you may be 
sure a certain amount of Communist activity is going on in the taxi 
drivers' union. The taxi drivers do a lot of talking and see a lot of 
people, and they get out in the precincts and make their position 
felt. In some of the precincts they go around soliciting signatures on 
petitions in the Reinecke case, and sometimes they get quite a num- 
ber of petitions signed up. In 3 or 4 months' time during the Reinecke 
case they got ten to twelve thousand signatures. 

The influence of these individuals is growing. The influence of 
Harriet Bouslog is growing. The influence of the paper by Jack 


Kimoto is growing;. Many people not Communists read the paper 
and they think it is a good paper, too. That is what I mean when 
I say the influence is increasing. 

Mr. Tavenner. What about the extent of Communist influence in 
educational institutions at this time? 

Mr. Kawano. I am not in position to say. I don't think it is as 
strong as it used to be. 

Mr. Tavenner. Is there anything else you desire to say? 

Mr. Kawano. I have just one short statement. 

I would like to have the record show that I want to offer my thanks 
and deep appreciation particularly to Judge Chuck Mau; Representa- 
tive Mitsuyuki Kido; Mr. John A. Burns, chairman of the Oahu 
County Committee of the Democratic Party of Hawaii; Dr. Ernest I. 
Murai, who so patiently and insistently worked on me and constantly 
preached Americanism to me. 

They worked on me without knowledge that I was a member of the 
Communist Party. It was they who convinced me in such a fashion 
that led me to the determination to break my ties with the Communist 

Later on other good citizens, through discussions on community 
problems and through friendly association, gave me further encourage- 
ment to become a good American. Among these are Capt. Sakal 
Takahashi, now a member of the Board of Supervisors of the City and 
County of Honolulu, and formerly president of the famed One- 
Hundredth Infantry Club; Mr. Dave Benz, secretary of the Demo- 
cratic Party of Hawaii; Mr. Daniel Aoki, former president of the 
Four Hundred and Forty -second Infantry Club; also Capt. Daniel 
Inouye and other good citizens. 

Also, I thank your committee for granting me this opportunity to 
testify before you in order that I may be able to make my contribution 
to my country by bringing to light whatever I know about Com- 
munist activities in the Territory of Hawaii. 

Thank you. 

Mr. Walter. Mr. Kawano, the committee is indebted to you for 
coming this great distance in order to give us the benefit of your deep 
knowledge of the machinations of this group of international con- 

If more people would come forward now and aid this committee in 
its effort to bring to the American people an appreciation of what is 
going on, I don't think there would be any real danger from com- 
munism after a ver}^ short time. 

I don't think the hard-shell corps is so strong as to in anywise affect 
our free institutions, but when they can influence the thinking and 
the actions of well-meaning but misguided people, then the whole 
movement does present a very serious menace ; and you have aided us 

It is unfortunate that you did not feel you were able to make the 
statement you have made today in Hawaii, because I believe others 
would have been encouraged to come forward, because I believe yours 
is the best testimony we could have gotten. 

Again, in behalf of the committee and myself, I express my sincere 
appreciation of your contribution. 

Mr. Velde. May I add my congratulations to you, also. 


^^l■. Doyle. May I explain the reason I had to leave this committee 
and was not here the early part of this afternoon, although I was here 
this morning. I am a member of the Armed Services Committee, 
and we were in e.xeeutive session at the same hour, so it wasn't that I 
was not interested in what you had to say, but I had an obligation 

Mr. Walter. The subcommittee stands adjourned. 

(Thereupon, an adjournment was taken at 5:50 p. m.) 




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